Covid-19: Gauteng health dept to conduct antibody survey to measure infection rate

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A News24 staffer gets a Covid-19 antibody test.
A News24 staffer gets a Covid-19 antibody test.
News24
  • The Gauteng health department will be conducting an antibody survey.
  • 3 500 households can expect a visit from a health professional.
  • The antibody survey will measure the infection rate in the province.

The Department of Health in Gauteng is conducting an antibody survey to measure the extent of Covid-19 infections in the province.

"There are many people in Gauteng who possibly had Covid-19, but were never counted as Covid-19 cases because they were never tested," spokesperson Kwara Kekana said in a statement.

"The survey will assist government to better understand how the virus is spreading throughout the Gauteng population over time and to be able to put adequate response measures to stop its further spread," she added.

READ | Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirms Covid-19 antibody tests are now legal

As a result, health professionals will be visiting 3 500 households and targeting 14 000 people across the province between November and December 2020.

The test will be done by pricking the person's finger to take a few drops of blood, which will be sent to a laboratory for testing.

Test

"This is done to identify people in the population of the province who have antibodies against Covid-19. Antibody test results can provide information about previous infections in people who had or did not have any symptoms of the virus," Kekana explained.

Acting Health MEC Jacob Mamobolo says this study is key to the province's efforts to contain the spread of the virus as well as getting an estimate of who has been infected, where they are based and the trajectory of the virus.

"When we have such information at our disposal, we will be able to make appropriate decisions in response to the pandemic, taking into consideration government's limited resources," he said.

The government has urged residents to cooperate and support the antibody survey.

Residents should note that health professionals will be visiting their homes only during the day, will be wearing a uniform and carrying identification tags.

The antibody survey is conducted in partnership with the Medical Research Council's VIDA Research Unit, the University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
How has the delay in schools' opening impacted your life?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
It's a disaster! We're struggling to manage work and kids at home
41% - 1477 votes
It's a struggle, but we learnt lessons from last year's closures
19% - 705 votes
It's a relief, this second wave is bad and kids need to be at home
40% - 1445 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.20
(-0.50)
ZAR/GBP
20.82
(-0.52)
ZAR/EUR
18.48
(-0.34)
ZAR/AUD
11.75
(-0.66)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.53)
Gold
1865.53
(+0.45)
Silver
25.67
(+0.47)
Platinum
1105.98
(+0.68)
Brent Crude
55.02
(0.00)
Palladium
2358.27
(+0.46)
All Share
64802.17
(+1.27)
Top 40
59674.33
(+1.34)
Financial 15
11570.68
(-0.99)
Industrial 25
89288.99
(+3.13)
Resource 10
62565.51
(-0.21)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo