Limpopo Health leads the pack in COVID-19 screening and testing

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Limpopo Health has screened 2.7m people for COVID-19, a staggering figure that matches the combined tally of all the other provinces bar the Eastern Cape, Business Day reports it has emerged.

The government moved swiftly after South Africa confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus on 5 March, first imposing sweeping restrictions on trade, travel and social gatherings and then imposing a five week national lock down that began on 27 March. These measures were accompanied by a massive national screening and testing drive, aided by the deployment of 28,000 field workers.

Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba said the province had deployed a team of more than 10,000 people to conduct household screening, including community health-care workers, HIV counsellors, mother mentors, peer educators, condom distributors and people working for non-governmental organisations. By Friday, the team had screened more than 2.7m people, she said.

Each person recruited into the screening drive was given a target of 10 households a day, and the average household had between five to seven people living in it, she said. “These are people who know the communities and know the area well. None of our people have been rejected by the communities,” she said.

According to the report, she says Limpopo’s screening drive had not revealed any hotspots, or clusters of the disease, suggesting there was little local transmission in the province. In total, 3,589 of the people screened in Limpopo have been referred for testing, of whom 31 have tested positive.

Full Business Day report

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