'Mixed messages on coronavirus testing causing strain on tests kits'

South Africa could face a shortage of COVID-19 coronavirus tests kits if the demand for the tests continues to grow.

On Thursday, the Department of Health confirmed that the number of confirmed positive cases in the country has reached 116.

Speaking to Clement Manyathela, Lancet Laboratories head of virology Dr Eftyhia Vardas says most of these tests are only conducted when symptoms become prevalent.

RELATED: COVID-19 coronavirus tally climbs to 116

At the moment we don't have a dire shortage, what we have been doing in the labs is diversifying and getting a variety of different kits in place so we try and not run out.

Dr Eftyhia Vardas, Head of virology - Lancet Laboratories

The difficulty is that there are mixed messages about testing. We are reserving the testing for patients that are symptomatic or have had a very clear exposure or are healthcare workers that we need to make sure they are not infected at all.

Dr Eftyhia Vardas, Head of virologist - Lancet Laboratories

Vardas explains what they check before testing a person.

If you are sick enough to be hospitalised with a respiratory tract infection you will get tested.

Dr Eftyhia Vardas, Head of virologist - Lancet Laboratories

Listen to the full interview below...

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.


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