South Africa gets hit hard by a third wave of Covid-19 infections, and the health care system is under tremendous pressure, with the overwhelming majority of all new Coronavirus cases in Gauteng. With the hospitals overrun, resources for everyone doesn’t exist, leaving people waiting outside and queueing ambulances to offload the sick.
Doctors are begging people to stay home as this wave is becoming more of a tsunami – worse than the first and second waves. We are all anxious, worried, uncertain and afraid but living in Gauteng, residents’ responsibility is to adhere to the tighter restrictions and closely observe possible symptoms.
Covid-19 affects different people differently, and most will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalisation. However, it’s recommended that people experiencing mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy to stay home and self-isolate.
On average, it takes 5 to 6 days for an infected person to show symptoms; however, it can take up to 14 days. The third wave Covid most common symptoms remain – fever, dry cough and tiredness. Less common but possible Covid symptoms include aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, a rash on the skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.
Severe symptoms of Covid include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, and loss of speech or movement. If you experience these serious symptoms, seek immediate medical attention, but call the doctor or medical facility first before visiting.
Wearing face masks in public spaces, maintaining physical distancing, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, and isolating if symptoms develop remain the most important defences against this virus.
Types of Covid-19 Tests Available
Different types of Covid tests are available, and it’s important to understand them before getting tested. The three tests available are Covid-19 PCR Viral Swab Test, Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test, and Covid-19 Antibody Serum Test.
- Covid-19 PCR Viral Swab Tests
Polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests are nasal swab tests used to detect active Covid-19 infections. These tests are sent to a lab, and results are generally available within 24 hours but can take up to 5 days. Get this test done for an official purpose: leaving the country, having a medical procedure or flight.
- Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Tests
Antigen tests, like the name suggests, test for antigens. It basically looks for fragments of Covid antigens within a person’s body to see if they’re infected with the virus. This test is also done by taking a nasal cavity swab which is placed in a special solution to detect the virus, and results are available in 15 to 20 minutes.
- Covid-19 Antibody Serum Tests
This is a blood test and helps identify people who might have been infected or have recovered from the virus. Basically, the test identifies antibodies that develop in most patients within seven to 10 days after symptoms begin. Results from these tests can be expected within 3 to 5 days.
At this time, researchers do not know whether the presence of antibodies means that you are immune to Covid-19; or if you are immune, how long it will last.
Covid-19 Testing Stations in Sandton Central
It is advised that you should only get tested if you have been in close contact with a person that has tested positive or if you experience any Covid-19 symptoms. If you are unsure if you should be tested, please call the SA Corona Virus Hotline on 0800 029 999.
- Testaro Drive-Through Covid-19 Testing
Testaro’s testing location in Sandton is at Total William Nicol, 49 Minerva Ave, Glenadrienne. Open Mondays to Fridays with operating hours from 09:00 to 16:00, and a test cost R850.00 per test with results in 24 hours. Contact details: Tel: 010 023 2304 or Mobile/WhatsApp 076 213 1941.
- Dis-Chem Drive-Through Testing Stations
Dis-Chem’s testing stations in Sandton include Benmore Gardens Shopping Centre, Fourways Mall, Nicolway Shopping Centre, Chilli On Top Centre (Sunninghill), Morningside Medical Centre and Sandton City.
All patients must pre-register to avoid any backlog and delay in results from the laboratories. Once you have registered, an SMS confirming your selected station, date and visitor’s ID will be sent to you. On arrival at your selected testing station, present your visitor’s ID. Test results will be sent via SMS to your registered cell phone number as soon as they are released.
- Tsebo Testing Centres
Tsebo offers Coronavirus public testing centres nationwide, but also private testing centres. The private centre location in Sandton is at Rochester Place Office Block A, 173 Rivonia Road, Morningside. Contact them on 011 441 5300 to find out more.
- Lancet Laboratories Testing Stations
Lancet offers 3 testing stations in Sandton –
- Mediclinic Sandton (pop-up testing station in parking lot) on the corner of Peter Place and Main Road, Bryanston. Mondays to Sundays with operating hours from 07:00 to 17:00. Contact 011 549 3780.
- Netcare Sunninghill on the corner of Witkoppen Road & Nanyuki Road, Sandton. Mondays to Sundays with operating hours from 08:00 to 17:00. Contact 011 231 2500.
- Rochester Place (walk-in depot) at 173 Rivonia Road, Morningside, Sandton, Rochester Place, Office Block (Block A Covid 19 testing and PUI bloods). Mondays to Fridays with operating hours from 07:00 to 17:00, Saturdays from 07:00 to 16:00 and Sundays from 07:00 to 13:00.
- Ampath Laboratories Covid-19 Sample Collection Sites
Ampath collects standard samples at the following site in Sandton – NHC Bryanston Depot on the corner of William Nicol and Bryanston Drive. Mondays to Fridays with trading hours from 09:00 to 16:00 and Saturdays from 09:00 to 11:00. Contact 011 700 6625.
- Sandown Clinic Pop-Up Covid-19 Testing Tent
The Department of Health has erected a tent at West and Deodar Lane, Sandton Central, to support the Sandown Clinic. The Sandown Clinic operates Mondays to Fridays from 07:30 to 16:00. Contact 011 883 7833.
Get more information on Covid-19 here.