COVID-19 testing made safer with sterile testing booths
As local cases of transmissions of the coronavirus continue to rise in the Cape Metropole it brings with it a demand for screening and testing from communities. To ensure we maintain the safety of healthcare staff, COVID-19 testing booths are being utilised as a faster way for health workers to test patients at various health facilities, without having to come into direct contact with the person being tested.
Five healthcare facilities in the Metropole, which services vulnerable communities in Gugulethu, Phillipi, Mitchells Plain, Athlone and Nyanga were recipients of these booths.
The booths are designed to ensure zero exposure between the patient and the tester and can be quickly disinfected between patients. It enables a sterile sampling process from the moment the patient begins the test to the transfer of the test to the Provincial laboratories.
“Our staff are less at risk from contracting the coronavirus when testing because the health worker inside the booth is not in direct contact with the patient when conducting the nasal swab, they do not use additional PPE beyond standard exam gloves and surgical masks which saves vital supply of items, including N95 masks, face shields and gowns,” said Zethu Xapile, Western Cape Government Health Primary Health Care Manager for the Klipfontein and Mitchells Plain area.
The booths were donated by an international organisation from Minnesota in the USA called Arm in Arm in Africa, which has been conducting humanitarian work in food supply, healthcare and education since 2000 in Gugulethu and Mitchells Plain.
“We are keenly aware of the everyday living conditions in the townships and recognise that the virus exponentially adds to the healthcare challenge. We salute the Western Cape Government Health and support the good work being done for the communities,” said Pat Dawson, Executive Director for Arm in Arm in Africa.