Cape Town – Langa residents concerned about contracting Covid-19 after coming into contact with a local supermarket store employee who tested positive said they were turned away when they went to get tested at a local clinic yesterday.

Instead, they were told to go to Vanguard Community Health Clinic, said the anxious residents.

Langa ward councillor Nomtha Dilima said residents were told that staff at the clinic could not deal with walk-ins.

“Those who were turned away were told to come back at 11am yesterday for screening, even though the nurses will only take a minimal number of people. Those who are on the database get priority, and then the rest follow,” said Dilima.

Mayoral council member for community services Zahid Badroodien said there had been miscommunication between the community and clinic staff.

“The issue we have identified that needs attention is how people who are coming for the Covid-19 screening and testing are managed.

“Every single person coming into the facility is screened, but not everybody who is screened gets tested because you have to meet certain requirements.

“With the assistance of the ward councillor, we will continue to educate the residents so that they understand the difference, and will also explain to them that the Langa Clinic is being equipped to do screening and testing even after Friday so that community members don’t have to go to Vanguard Clinic to have their testing done,” Badroodien said.

Provincial Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said: “Community screening and testing is being expanded to other vulnerable communities at high risk of coronavirus spreading from person to person.

“There are 18 dedicated sites (where screening can be conducted). These centres have been added at facilities that offer more space for persons requiring screening while being separated from other patients.”

Cape Times

By Odwa Mkentane