Western Cape presses panic button on backlog as Covid-19 tests plummet

Health workers in the Western Cape will be moved to the front of the queue for Covid-19 testing.
Health workers in the Western Cape will be moved to the front of the queue for Covid-19 testing.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The Western Cape has sounded the alarm about the provincial backlog of 18,000 Covid-19 test results.

Premier Alan Winde said he had asked President Cyril Ramaphosa and health minister Zweli Mkhize to resolve the shortage of test kits at the National Health Laboratory Service.

A sharp drop in the number of Covid-19 cases was reported on May 25 2020..
A sharp drop in the number of Covid-19 cases was reported on May 25 2020..
Image: National Institute of Communicable Diseases
A drop in testing coincided with a fall in the number of new cases on May 25 2020.
A drop in testing coincided with a fall in the number of new cases on May 25 2020.
Image: National Institute of Communicable Diseases

His plea on Tuesday came as the total number of tests recorded in the health department's daily Covid-19 report fell to 12,922, the lowest total for three weeks. Only 5,473 were performed in the public sector

Winde said the test backlog had forced the province to prioritise “health care workers, those in hospital and those at high risk, including the elderly and those with underlying conditions”.

This was the most efficient way of “managing the curve of the disease in this phase of community transmission”, he said.

In his televised address to the nation on Sunday, Ramaphosa referred to the shortage of test kits and said the government was taking steps to resolve it.

On Tuesday, the Western Cape had 63% of SA's confirmed Covid-19 cases and 66% of deaths.

-TimesLIVE


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X