Eastern Cape health department slams fake Covid-19 kit video

Eastern Cape health department has blasted a video of a man urging people to refuse being tested for Covid-19 has gone viral.

On Monday morning, provincial health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the video has caused unnecessary panic as the man claims the testing kits might be contaminated.

“We would like to put it on record that the testing kits are not contaminated and emphasise that we would never put people’s lives at risk by using contaminated testing kits on them,” Kupelo said.

“We condemn the viral video which is spreading fake news and hope that law enforcement agencies will follow up on the video, and possibly arrest the man for spreading the malicious message. This is not the time for conspiracy theorists. We need as many people as possible to get tested for the coronavirus should they have symptoms consistent with the virus.”

He said this was the only way to stop the spread of the virus and ensure we flatten the curve. “Refusing to be tested will not help but will only result in people who might have been treated had they been tested dying from Covid-19 complications. We would also dispel the notion that the test is painful. It might be uncomfortable but it is not painful.”

Testing for Covid-19 involves an uncomfortable - but not painful - nasopharyngeal swab.
Testing for Covid-19 involves an uncomfortable – but not painful – nasopharyngeal swab. Image: SOPA IMAGES/ LIGHTROCKET VIA GETTY IMAGES/ ROBIN UTRECHT

This is how the test is conducted step by step.

Nasal swab:

The patient is placed in a seating position on a chair, the health practitioner tilts the head backwards with the left hand and hold it backwards with the patient’s chin upward to have a good view of the nose and throat.

Then a nasal swab is inserted from nostrils down till you reach the back of the nose. The practitioner then takes a swab to get the specimen and pull back the swab slowly with safety.

The specimen is then placed in its jar. All along the practitioner is wearing protective clothing: gown, mask, gloves, goggles.

Throat swab:

The patient is in the same head position as with the nasal swab. The patient opens his or her mouth, the health practitioner then uses a tongue depressor, take the swab from tonsils and back of the throat in a figure of 8 style and put the specimen in the jar.

It is painless and quick. People should heed government’s call and get tested in order to be treated should the need arise.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Kupelo said, people should at all times practise good personal hygiene by washing their hands with soap regularly for 20 seconds or use hand sanitisers.

People should also keep at least a two metres physical distance and stay at home and be safe.

“That is how we will beat this pandemic,” Kupelo concluded.

By Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

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