I am concerned at a notice sent out by Johannesburg Health MMC Mogeru Morewane to residents of Johannesburg Region E which seemingly advises high risk groups for Covid-19 to tests at local sites together with people who have flu-like symptoms.
Region E is currently the sub-district with the highest number of cases in Gauteng with 248 (31.5%) of Johannesburg’s 788 recorded Covid-19 cases. It includes Sandton, Bryanston, Fourways, Alexandra and north eastern suburbs such as Orange Grove, Sydenham, Waverley, Highlands North, Sandringham, Kew and Greenstone.
According to the notice, the screening and testing is happening today (27 April) and the targeted group includes “those with flu-like symptoms, community members who are above 60 years and those with co-morbid chronic conditions (e.g. Diabetes, Asthma, Hypertension, HIV infection, Tuberculosis).”
Furthermore, it urges “all the local political leaders, faith-based organization, ratepayers association, organized labour, traditional healers, businesses and members of the public to avail themselves to the identified sites.”
I have established that the intention of this exercise is that the high risk group over 60 and with co-morbid conditions will be seen in their homes, but it is highly inadvisable for them to go to the testing sites in each ward where they could come in contact with people who have flu-like symptoms.
This morning I visited the Jabula Recreation Centre in Sandringham which is the designated testing site for Ward 72. There were only three cars in the parking lot at 10am and I was told by one of the waiting people that the testers were still on their way.
There needs to be better communication and arrangements so that only the appropriate targeted groups i.e. those with flu-like symptoms or in contact with those with such symptoms, leave their homes to visit testing centres. Everyone else should stay in their homes.