Pretoria – Residents and organisations worrying about the rate of testing and screening efforts in Tshwane can rest a bit easier as testing efforts in the City are set to increase rapidly.

The City has announced that it was in the process of increasing the number of health practitioners to increase its workforce in order to strengthen the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

It called on registered auxiliary nurses, community health nurses, staff nurses, environmental health practitioners and post-basic pharmacist assistants to apply for the 140 positions it has created to fight against the virus.

Lebogang Mahaye, the city administrator responsible for the compliance, said all the professionals will be employed for a contract period to run up until June 30.

“If you are a health professional anywhere around Tshwane, the City needs you. We are urgently in need of these trained people to manage the clinical and operational aspects of a primary healthcare clinic in a defined geographic area such as Tshwane.”

Jack Bloom, DA spokesperson for health said they welcomed efforts to ramp up Covid-19 testing in the province and the City especially for the most vulnerable groups who did not have symptoms.

Bloom said this was important as recent studies were of the view that more than 50% of those infected are “silent spreaders” as they were asymptomatic.

This resulted in tests mainly being done on people who exhibited flu-like symptoms, had a history of travel or had been in contact with someone who was confirmed positive.

“These narrow criteria should have been expanded earlier as it resulted, for instance, in only 19 tests conducted out of 262 000 people screened in Tshwane.”

“We also welcome the plan to test at potential virus hotspots such as hospitals, taxis, supermarkets, hostels and informal settlements. We can only stay ahead of the curve by being proactive and detecting infection hotpots in time to take action to prevent further spread.”

Bloom said it was also important for the Gauteng Health Department to release the number of tests conducted every day along with the latest tally of cases, so as not to give a false picture of low cases when in reality it’s because the tests are low.

Registered auxiliary nurses, community health nurses and other health practitioners interested in applying can visit the City’s website for more information.

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL’s  #Coronavirus trend page.
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit

Pretoria News

By Goitsemang Tlhabye