News

News

State lab expects to run 36 000 coronavirus tests a day by end April

26 Mar 2020

The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) has announced that it will be able to process 36 000 samples a day by the end of April. Currently, it can only do 5 000 tests a day. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the NHLS, had done 19 975 tests by March, 25. The NHLS will increase the number of laboratories performing Covid-19 tests from six to nine, and the number of mobile testing sites four to 20 by the end of April.


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WHO to use WhatsApp service for Covid-19 developed in SA

26 Mar 2020
The newsagency Bloomberg (25 March 2020) reported that the World Health Organisation (WHO) plans to reach at least 50-m people with a WhatsApp information service that delivers information on demand about the coronavirus.
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Pressure on HPCSA to greenlight remote consultations

26 Mar 2020
On March, 26, Financial Mail published an article by Katherine Child reporting that doctors are pleading for the medical regulator to allow them to consult via video and voice calls to keep vulnerable patients safe at home and ensure that those with Covid- 19 symptoms don’t come into busy waiting rooms. 
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SA’s total Covid-19 tally rises to 709

25 Mar 2020

By Wednesday (25 March 2020) the number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa rose to 709; including 4 recoveries. 425 959 cases have been reported globally; 18 957 have died and 109 241 have recovered.


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Labs under pressure as Covid-19 testing increases

25 Mar 2020

According to the heads of private laboratories in SA there were bottlenecks in the supply of N95 and surgical masks, swabs, and gloves, as well as testing kits.


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Do not use malaria drug, warns medicines regulator

25 Mar 2020
SA’s medicines regulator has warned consumers to stop buying an antimalaria drug in anticipation of Covid-19 infection, saying there is no evidence that it combats the coronavirus.
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‘Up to 1-million at risk of Covid-19 in SA in 40 days’

23 Mar 2020

According to to a team of researchers at Wits University one million South Africans could contract Covid-19 within just 40 days, unless the government takes drastic action to avoid the country reaching a tipping point of 100 locally acquired cases, reported Business Day (23 March 2020). Their modelling work shows aggressive containment is essential for slowing the spread of the virus and keeping the numbers to a more manageable level.


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SA part of worldwide WHO trial

23 Mar 2020

SA is one of 10 countries involved in an urgent global trial announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to identify the most effective treatment for coronavirus. The leader of SA’s effort is Prof Helen Rees, head of the Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute and chair of the WHO’s immunisation advisory group for Africa who played a major role in the fight against Ebola.


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