South Africas Hotspot Limits Most Testing to Above Age 55

CAPE TOWN, South Africa—South Africas worst hotspot for the CCP virus is no longer testing most people under age 55 as it tries to clear a backlog of 27,000 tests amid a shortage of kits.

Western Cape province, centered on the city of Cape Town, will test people under 55 only if they have serious health conditions, have been admitted to a hospital, or are a front-line health worker, Premier Alan Winde said.

“If youre younger than 55 and you have symptoms, assume you have COVID-19 … After 14 days, youll be fine. Theres no purpose in getting a test,” Western Cape head of health Keith Cloete told radio station Cape Talk this week. People who are younger than 55 and generally healthy are advised to isolate themselves if they show symptoms.

“We want to preserve tests for where it makes the most difference,” Cloete said.

The province continues to see a worrying increase in infections that have made it the epicenter of the outbreak in Africa. The Western Cape has a population of around 6 million and more than 24,000 of South Africas 35,725 confirmed cases.

The province alone has more confirmed cases than any other country on the 54-nation continent except Egypt. South Africa has the most cases in Africa, where overall cases have surpassed 162,000.

The Western Capes testing problems are part of a countrywide issue. South Africa has a national backlog of nearly 100,000 tests, although it has also conducted the most tests in Africa.

The Western Cape, one of Africas most popular tourist destinations before the pandemic, is bracing for a peak in COVID-19 infections and deaths in the next few months. It already has 597 of South Africas 792 deaths attributed to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

Cape Town announced a “fatalities management plan” in May and said the number of people dying in the city from COVID-19 could reach around 4,000 per month.

Testing materials remain in short supply across Africa, but the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a new platform to pool the continents purchasing powers has obtained about 15 million CCP virus testing kits for the next six months.

Read More – Source