Covid 19 tests and screening in Wallacedene

A medical practitioner at Kraaifontein Day Hospital, Simone Van Der Merwe and a Kraaifontein dentist, Zafeerah Hassan.
“At some stage everybody will contract Covid 19.”

These are the words of doctor Simone van der Merwe who conducted Covid 19 tests and screening on an open field in Mtyobile Street in Wallacedene today, May 13. 

With the help of the Western Cape Department of Health and non-profit organisations, including The Caring Network, more than 100 residents were tested for Covid 19. 

 Dr Van der Merwe, from Kraaifontein day hospital, said she believed front-line medical staff were prepared for the pandemic.

“It is inevitable that everyone will contract Covid 19, but our fears are that our loved ones would suffer more than others,” she said. 

All medical staff, no matter their specialty, are being roped in to help with testing. Audiologist Leilani Mitchell was among those helping in Wallacedene. She said a team of nurses walked from door-to-door this morning screening residents. Those who had at least one symptom, including fever, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath,  were sent to the field for testing. 

Ms Mitchell said she had found that many people in the community knew very little about the virus and had the perception that the tests were painful.

“In this community and many others where we have testing stations, it is business as usual. People don’t wear masks and don’t practise social distancing.” 

Bernadette Ross, of The Caring Network, handed out flyers about the importance of washing and sanitising hands, physical distancing and being quarantined. 

“We encourage the community to take care of themselves and adhere to the lockdown rules so we can flatten the curve,” she said. 

Ward 6 councillor Simpiwe Nonkeyizana was waiting in line to be tested. Afterwards, he said it had been “a breeze” and had taken less than 10 seconds. But  community activist Kolisi Mpukumpa said being tested was worse than getting an injection. 

The team will do further screening and testing in Bloekombos tomorrow, May 14. They will do door-to-door visits and a testing station will be set up at Hani Park in Hani Street, Bloekombos.