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We will expand the criteria for testing, says Ramaphosa

“Among the categories of people we will now be able to test are all those who are admitted to hospital, outpatients with Covid-19 symptoms, and individuals who have been in close contact with confirmed cases whether or not they themselves have symptoms.”

CAPE TOWN –  Although new Covid-19 infections are declining in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government will now expand the criteria for testing. This follows the reduced pressure on our health facilities.

“Among the categories of people we will now be able to test are all those who are admitted to hospital, outpatients with Covid-19 symptoms, and individuals who have been in close contact with confirmed cases whether or not they themselves have symptoms,” he said.

Alongside increased testing, contact tracing will be improved through the deployment of the Covid Alert South Africa mobile phone app and the Covid Connect WhatsApp platform.

“Effective testing and contact tracing systems will allow us to quickly identify and contain outbreaks before they spread further. I want to make a call this evening to everyone who has a smartphone in South Africa to download the CovidAlertSA app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app has been zero-rated by mobile networks, so you can download it without data costs,” said Ramaphosa.

The app also uses Bluetooth technology and will alert any user if they have been in close contact with any other user who has tested positive for coronavirus in the past 14 days. The app is completely anonymous, it does not gather any personal information, nor does it track anybody’s location.

“The App has been zero-rated so you can download it without the need for data costs. The health department has also developed a WhatsApp system for those without smartphones,” he said.

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