By UNATHI NKANJENI
Social media was in chaos mode this week about the cost of private coronavirus tests.
On Monday, Lancet Laboratories announced it will allow private tests for Covid-19.
According to the Sunday Times, the test would cost about R1,200 and is only open to people who have been referred by their doctor.
EWN reported that Lancet Laboratories has since clarified the cost of the test is R1,400.
The laboratories said in a statement on social media that it will carry out a clinical assessment at one of their facilities, sharing all results with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).
“Testing for now, even in private labs will be prioritised for individuals who fulfill epidemiological or clinical case definitions, and only if referred by a doctor.
“Epidemiological information will still be collected on all patients. All results will be shared with the NICD, which remains the reference centre for this epidemic.”
So far, seven people have tested positive for the coronavirus in SA.
National health minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed the additional cases on Monday.
Mkhize said the additional four were part of the group of travellers who recently returned to SA from Italy. It is the same group from which the first three coronavirus patients tested positive.
Taking to social media, many argued that the cost of the test meant those who can’t afford it would suffer greatly.
— Simon Grindrod (@SimonPGrindrod) March 9, 2020
Lucky the rich.
May the poor not infect them unknowingly since they won't have the means to test.
— AntitheisticaLee ❤💚🖤 (@UnmovedLee) March 9, 2020
SA just stay scamming its citizens even when its a matter of life and death🙆♀️
— Good Vibes Only💖 (@Tilly_Tetelo) March 9, 2020
We didn't ask for this virus so why should we spend our money on something we don't even want? You gave Italy masks for free but when you need to take care of your own we must now spend money? pic.twitter.com/9CnQ1zQ5Tk
— Tbos 🔱 (@boogytee) March 9, 2020
A reason for the poor masses to never go get tested until half of the population is infected. How does this solve our problem?
— 9jaWoman 🇳🇬 🇿🇦 (@obyobiasogu) March 9, 2020
We have high rate of unemployment. We are currently in a recession. Majority of South Africans cannot afford basic medical care, so I need someone to balance me where exactly will people get R1200???🤔 The system continues to fail our people 😭
— Black Barbie 👑💫 (@jordanzanele1) March 9, 2020
Why can't people get tested for free like an HIV test,cos imagine spending some much money just as soon you walk out there,someone passing by could affect you immdiately
— IG:Joy-Zelda (@joy_zelda) March 9, 2020