The Gauteng health department has set up makeshift rapid Covid-19 testing centers on the N1 near the Grasmere toll plaza as motorists return to Gauteng after the December holidays, with authorities fearing a case surge in the province which already has the most coronavirus cases in the country.
As motorists exited the toll gate, they were screened and those with symptoms were asked to take a free Covid-19 test.
As many as six testing stations have been set up on the side of the road.
Concerns over a spike in Gauteng cases
Health experts have warned that the number of infections could spike in Gauteng as people return from hotspot areas across the country.
Data sources from the John Hopkins University in the US and published by the covid19sa collective (WITS, NRF, iThembaLABS, and Data Convergence) show that Gauteng, South Africa’s smallest, but most populous province, has recorded 5763 fatalities since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are prioritising people from the hotspots,” said Gauteng health spokesperson Kwara Kekana.
“We cannot test everyone who is coming through the tollgate. People with symptoms are offered testing.”
Kekana said voluntary testing is being offered as part of the provincial government’s plans to address the second wave of Covid-19 infections.
In addition, there is also free HIV testing and condoms.
Staring Tuesday, the temporary centers will also offer immunisation services for children who have missed their jab dates.
Similar operations are expected to be rolled-out on the other main arteries coming into Gauteng: the N3, the N12 and the N1 from Limpopo.