The different types of COVID-19 tests are far from equal. Picking a test is generally a matter of speed versus accuracy and, most importantly, why you need a test and when. What are the limitations of these tests? Is there any quality control? What are the chances of false positives and false negatives? Elsabé Brits surveys the landscape of tests available in South Africa and asks which type is most appropriate in what situation.
It’s been over a year since COVID-19 first hit South Africa. Since then, many people have been living in constant fear and many have lost loved ones. Frontline healthcare workers had no choice but to face their fears if they were to keep doing the life-saving work they were trained for. Amy Green and colleagues explore the emotional toll that South Africa’s third wave of COVID-19 is taking on healthcare workers.
Ahead of the end-of-year school exams the Western Cape Department of Education has called on matric pupils and their parents to consider the COVID-19 risk associated with attending large social events. Since June, 792 learners have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Western Cape. Siyabonga Kamnqa reports.
The South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases on Tuesday declared multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) a Notifiable Medical Condition. Elna Schütz spoke with doctors who have been treating this rare and dangerous condition.
Initial results from an antibody survey conducted in the Cape Town Metro indicate that of 2 700 pregnant women and people living with HIV making use of the public healthcare system, 40% have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2. Adele Baleta has the details.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is investigating allegations that South Africans working at the Libyan embassy in Pretoria were pressured to test and reveal their HIV status after asking to be tested for COVID-19.
On July 22 Richard Abrahams, his wife, and three children celebrated his 65th birthday with orange cake and well-wishes. Less than a month before, Abrahams was struggling to breathe due to COVID-19 and receiving oxygen at Cape Town’s Hospital of Hope. He shared his story with Biénne Huisman.
Early enthusiasm about South Africa’s strong position to scale up COVID-19 testing due to existing investments in diagnostic infrastructure for HIV and TB waned after the country found itself unable to secure adequate test materials. Steps are now being taken to reduce the dependence on just a few suppliers for these materials. Catherine Tomlinson reports.
While COVID-19 tests in the private sector are often processed within a day or two – even if the test is not urgent – many patients in public sector hospitals have to wait a week or more. Amy Green investigates the stark differences between public and private sector testing in South Africa.
Strict COVID-19 measures have had a negative impact on a programme aimed at providing HIV prevention medicine and gender based violence counselling services for vulnerable girls and young women. Adele Baleta reports.
The Northern Cape Health Department has come under fire from NEHAWU, the DA, residents and healthcare workers for not testing enough and dragging its feet with its COVID-19 response. Refilwe Mekoa and Alicestine October investigate.
It seems HIV and TB are falling by the wayside in the drive to stop the spread of COVID-19. Where we can we must minimise the harm to the HIV and TB response, and we need to see the opportunity to address all three diseases together, writes Erica Penfold.