South Africans slam high price of Covid-19 test kits

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.

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