Question NW1706 to the Minister of Health

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21 August 2020 - NW1706

Profile picture: Cuthbert, Mr MJ

Cuthbert, Mr MJ to ask the Minister of Health

(1)With regard to the response by the City of Ekurhuleni during the Covid-19 pandemic, (a) what number of test kits have been procured, (b) from whom were the test kits procured and (c) what was the cost per unit; (2) what (a) is the overall backlog in testing results in each clinic in the City of Ekurhuleni and (b) is being done to reduce these backlogs; (3) what (a) is the overall backlog on tracing Covid-19 cases, (b) are the full relevant details of the communities that are yet to be visited and (c) is being done to improve tracing capabilities in the city; (4) what process did his department put in place to ensure that clinics adhere to safety measures put in place for Covid-19 with regard to social distancing, sanitising of hands and the wearing of masks?


1. (a) A total of 77 645 test kits were supplied to Ekurhuleni District and this covered all hospitals and clinics.

b) The test kits were procured by the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), and supplied to the District.

c) Cost per test kit including forms, testing and courier services is R399.00.

2. (a) Backlog in all six NHLS testing laboratories as of 28 July 2020 was 891 with registered samples

(b) The two main hospitals that are supporting Ekurhuleni are Tambo Memorial and Charlotte Maxeke. Tambo Memorial is doing the tests for all in-hospital patients while Charlotte Maxeke does all clinic work.

3. (a) The district has a tracing backlog of nearly 23 481 contacts as at 25 July 2020.

(b) The district does not conduct visits to the communities for tracing because they are currently implementing telephonic and COVID-19 Connect tracing initiatives which make use of the telephone and messaging system.

(c) The District is implementing telephonic and COVID-19 Connect for tracking and tracing of contacts. A total of 164 Clinical Officials are currently deployed across the district to strengthen telephonic tracing initiatives.

4. All members of staff in clinics have been trained on COVID-19 safety measures. COVID-19 steering committees have been setup in facilities and they ensure adherence to measures such as social distancing, appropriate use of PPE and frequent hand-washing and sanitization of hands in all the clinics. Senior and Middle Managers undertake unannounced visits to facilities in order to observe and ensure adherence to COVID-19 safety measures.


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