Pakati gets tested as screening rolls out in BCM

Doctor Jean Luc Mukendi tests mayor Xola Pakati after screening him for Covid-19 symptoms. The tests were expected to be ready in 48-hours.
Doctor Jean Luc Mukendi tests mayor Xola Pakati after screening him for Covid-19 symptoms. The tests were expected to be ready in 48-hours.
Image: SINO MAJANGAZA

Buffalo City Metro mayor Xola Pakati joined volunteers in Gonubie on Tuesday as the government’s door-to-door screening campaign was rolled out in East London. 

The ongoing initiative involves volunteers conducting screenings and testing to determine the number of people infected with the coronavirus.

Pakati, who was among the first to have been screened and tested on Tuesday, said the programme was aimed at containing the spread of the pandemic in the country.

The volunteers started with the door-to-door tracing, screening and testing in people’s homes, spaza shops, supermarkets, garages, clinics and police stations in Gonubie.

Screened people who showed mild symptoms were tested and will know their results either this week and at the latest next week.

Those who have no or moderate symptoms will remain at  home during the 21-day lockdown.

Gonubie residents were more than happy to be screened and tested, saying they wanted to know their status.

Pakati said it was in the best interest of communities to test.

“Our people should be encouraged to do this screening.”

Resident Akhona Mangxa, 26, said the volunteers asked her if she was coughing, sneezing, had a cold or headache before checking her temperature and asking her travel history.

Because she had more than two of the symptoms, which were headache and a cough, she was tested.

I could be walking the streets and spreading the virus to  many people unknowingly if I don’t know my status

“People want to test so they know where they stand.

“I could be walking the streets and spreading the virus to  many people unknowingly if I don’t know my status.

“It is good that the officials have come to our area and started with the process of testing, because many of our people don’t like to go to clinics.

“Maybe they know there they will wait longer,” Mangxa said.

BCM council speaker Alfred Mtsi said testing was the right and responsible thing to do.

“We are living with families so it is safer to know whether you are negative or not.

“This is an infectious disease which needs to be treated with care.

“The reason we are doing the tests in public is because we want to encourage people to follow in our footsteps.

“It is better that people see that we practise what we preach,” Mtsi said.

Volunteer Sipamandla Mabasa said he decided to join the team of  field workers because he wanted to render a front-line service to keep people safe.

Anathi Msesiwe said a lot was still unknown about the trajectory of the virus and the toll it would take on human life.

“It is very important that we get tested, the sooner the better,” Msesiwe said.


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