Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)
40% who seek medical care test positive
A STUDY at the province’s health facilities showed that 40% of people who sought medical attention for non-Covid19-related conditions ended up testing positive for the virus. The seroprevalence study found that nearly half of respondents had antibodies against the coronavirus.
The data was anonymously collected by the Western Cape Health Department (WCDH) which hopes the data will help prepare it better should the country be hit by a second wave of the virus.
The department said the antibody tests for Covid-19 could help researchers and health professionals better prepare and work out just who is vulnerable to the disease.
In a webinar this week, WCDH and the National Health Laboratory Service launched the antibody surveillance as part of the ongoing monitoring of the Covid-19 epidemic in the province, in partnership with local academic institutions. Antibodies to the Sars-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19 are generally detectable two weeks after infection.
The Western Cape has 3 272 active cases of Covid-19, with a total of 105 552 confirmed cases and 98 339 recoveries and 18 deaths, bringing the total of Covid-19-related deaths in the province to 3 941.
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) confirmed they had issued authorisation for one serological test kit and five lab-based Sars-Cov-2 serology tests.
Rapid test kits cannot be used to clinically diagnose Covid-19 cases, but may play a role in research studies, Sahpra said. |