Johannesburg , Apr 4:
South African public healthcare workers swung into action in the buzzing streets of Johannesburg’s Yeoville neighbourhood as Africa’s worst virus-hit country rolled out mass door-to-door testing for COVID-19.
Armed with screening questionnaires and testing kits, medics and volunteers set up their testing station on the front porch of a block of flats in the gritty business neighbourhood. Already in a 21-day lockdown, South Africa is now embarking on the widespread testing and quarantine campaign involving some 10,000 field workers.
With his head tilted back, 58-year-old Michael Moshone, braced for his nasal swab, seated on a brick staircase in Yeoville.
“It is a little bit uncomfortable but you’ve got to be strong… because you want to know exactly what is going on with you,” Moshone, wrapped in a green, gold and black scarf, said after his sample was taken.
Before the rollout of mass screening and testing, more than 47,500 tests had been performed, 6,000 of them at public health centres. While South Africa has so far only reported 7 deaths and 1,505 infections, Mkhize has warned that the relatively small growth in numbers was perhaps “the calm before a heavy and devastating storm”.