Home News Dept sets up mobile screening, testing clinics in city

Dept sets up mobile screening, testing clinics in city

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Concerns were also expressed about whether there had been sufficient awareness about the programme.

SEVERAL mobile laboratories were set up at various points in Galeshewe on Wednesday, with community members being encouraged to undergo voluntary screening and testing for Covid-19.

The Northern Cape Department of Health has not yet responded to media enquiries regarding the process or how the mobile clinics will operate.

Staff manning the clinics were also not prepared to discuss the operations, stating that they had not been given permission to speak to the media.

Chairs had been set up in an outside tent at the mobile clinics in preparation for an expected influx of people.

The clinics, which carried the branding of the Northern Cape Department of Health, were however very quiet on Wednesday morning, with only a few members of the public picking up information pamphlets.

Some community members were seen entering the clinics out of curiosity, however, most of them left without undergoing any screening.

Concerns were also expressed about whether there had been sufficient awareness about the programme.

A community member, Dimakatsio Raadt, who visited one of the clinics on Wednesday said that she had doubts regarding the test after seeing an online video that discouraged people from doing voluntary testing.

“If we can get clarity about whether it is safe to test at these clinics, I will do so. We haven’t been informed about these clinics or whether we should have ourselves tested,” said Raadt.

“We would also like to know whether it is only for those people who have symptoms of the coronavirus. We even thought it was meant for essential workers because other people are expected to stay at home.”

Raadt said it was contradictory for the Department of Health to urge people to stay at home and then encourage them to go out and test voluntarily.

A passer-by stated that he had heard via a WhatsApp video that “these people are the ones who will be infecting us with the virus”.

“The police should arrest them,” he said.

Spokespersons for the Northern Cape Department of Health, Lebogang Majaha and Lulu Mxekezo, on Wednesday promised to issue an awareness media release but had not done so by 5pm.

According to the Facebook page of the Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nocci), the Department of Health was rolling out a mass screening and testing campaign. 

Areas that were to be visited on Wednesday included the Old Galeshewe Post Office, Galeshewe Pick n Pay Centre, Greenpoint Construction Site and  Lerato Park.

On Thursday, screening and testing will be done at the Roodepan Hall, Colville Park, McDonald’s in the Kimberley CBD, Tlhageng Phase 2 Park and Phutanang.

In the comments section, many residents urged the department to indicate when and where the screening would be done in other city suburbs.

Many residents also questioned why there had been no notification from the department regarding the screening and testing. “I am very disappointed in the department,” one resident stated.

Others questioned whether they had to pay for the testing, while some queried why it was not being conducted door-to-door.