The KwaZulu-Natal government announced at the weekend that 95 952 people had been screened for Covid-19 and 480 had tested in the province.
This number excludes people tested outside the community screening programme, like those who got tested at a private doctor.
This is after the provincial government, together with the national Department of Health, launched a community screening and testing programme at Jika Joe informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg last week Thursday.
The KZN Department of Health spokesperson, Thando Nkosi, said all districts had started screening. She said that, in identifying which communities to start with first, the department went to the hotspots – places where there had been traced contacts or a confirmed case of Covid-19.
Teams of health workers, identified by reflector vests and name tags, were working jointly with community caregivers from local areas. The home screening was done through a set of questions in English and Zulu.
A health worker said they asked whether a person had travelled out of the province or had been in contact with a person who had been confirmed to be positive for Covid-19. Other questions included whether the person had experienced a fever, had difficulty breathing, or was coughing. The person was also asked whether they had had a problem tasting food.
“If a person is showing some symptoms, he or she is referred to a health facility to be tested,” the health worker explained.
She said they used temperature scanners to identify people who had a fever.
Jika Joe resident Bongiwe Dlamini said she was screened with her family members at the launch.
“We appreciate what the government is doing by screening us,” said Dlamini.
“Some of us do stay at home, but it’s not easy. We stay and others go out as if nothing is wrong. There is an issue of hunger that is forcing people to go out and hustle. I’m happy that I was screened. I will continue staying at home and watch if I develop any of the symptoms, as the health worker has explained,” said Dlamini.
On Sunday, KZN premier Sihle Zikalala announced that the provincial command council – which deals with Covid-19 – had decided to intensify lockdown regulations in the Ethekwini district.