Screening goes door to door

Dr Rouland Kroukamp, specialist family physician at Mitchell's Plain Day Hospital, takes a sample of Andre Alexander, from Woodlands, in a gazebo outside Northwood community hall in New Woodlands.

There were 57 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mitchell’s Plain by late Tuesday with the number expected to rise as the state ramps up screening in densely populated areas.

It takes 48 hours to get screening results but Mitchell’s Plain day hospital facility manager, Amanda Hansen, says the community screening is necessary to contain the virus.

So far 12 083 Mitchell’s Plain residents have been tested, 352 of them in the past week.

At Livingstone Church, in New Woodlands, on Monday, 2 408 people were screened and 94 of them tested; at Woodlands and Northwood community centres, last Friday, 7 310 were screened and 132 tested; at Rocklands civic centre, on Thursday April 18, 1 514 were screened and 48 tested; in Heinz Park, on Wednesday April 15, 851 were screened and 78 tested. Health-care workers were due to return to the area yesterday, Tuesday April 21.

Opportunity to Serve Ministry (OTSM) home-based caregivers went door to door to do random screening, referring residents needing testing to the Woodlands community hall.

Dereck Peter Arendse, 64, said he kept to himself and only went to the shops when he needed something.

He explained to carer Elizabeth Mashaba through his front gate that he had a morning cough but nothing a “strong sweet like Halls”, would not clear.

The Covid-19 screening questionnaire includes personal details and asks whether residents have developed any signs of symptoms in the past week, including fever, cough, shortness of breath or a sore throat.

If they say yes they are given a route slip to take to their nearest testing point and advised about self-isolation and hand hygiene.

“We also have to advise all household members to adhere to physical distancing and hand hygiene recommendations,” Ms Mashaba
said.

Brothers André and Mark Alexander, from New Woodlands, were directed to Northwood community centre for testing.

Outside they were met by Ms Hansen who directed them inside and gave them masks to put on while waiting to be tested.

Mr Alexander said he usually had sinus issues and that he reacted to dust but his chest had been tight for about two days.

“My throat has also been inflamed,” he said.

Mr Anthony was coughing and sneezing.

They were the first to be tested on Friday morning at the centre.

A leaflet distributed to people waiting to be tested warned of the importance of cleaning door handles, ATM keypads, taxi seats and other frequently used surfaces outside and in the home because the virus can linger on them and people touching those surfaces can get infected when touching their faces.

“Cleaning will remove the dirt, disinfecting will remove germs, including coronavirus,” it said.

If you have flu-like symptoms, and have come into contact with someone who has the coronavirus, contact the national hotline on 0800 029 999 or the provincial hotline on 021 928 4102 for advice on what to do next. You can also WhatsApp 060 012 3456 or log on to www.westerncape.gov.za/coronavirus for updates on the coronavirus.