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Local app helps health workers co-ordinate their patient care

01 Apr 2020

Signapps, a locally invented communication and collaboration tool developed for mobile  messaging, is already in use in more than 50 care environments, mostly hospitals, clinics and practices (both public and private), reported Business Day (1 April 2020). 


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Do not use rapid test kits

01 Apr 2020

The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) warned the public not to use rapid blood tests for COVID-19, as they may be inaccurate and unable to detect the disease in its early stages. SAHPRA has appealed to the public to report companies or individuals selling rapid blood tests for COVID-19, as none were approved for use in SA.


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Ramaphosa steps up the fight with home visits and mobile tech

31 Mar 2020
On March 30, President Cyril Ramaphosa informed citizens in a public announcement that South Africa will deploy a
10 000-strong force of field workers to visit homes across the country to screen people for symptoms of the Covid-19 virus and will introduce mobile technology to track and trace contacts of those found to be positive.
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Local companies urged to free up protective equipment for health workers

31 Mar 2020
Business SA (BSA), a new initiative created to help the government combat Covid-19, has issued an urgent call to companies to release their supplies of masks, gowns and gloves to protect health-care staff tackling the virus, reported Business Day (31 March 2020). 
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Three-week lockdown may not be enough

31 Mar 2020
Business Day(31 March 2020) reported thatPrivate hospital group Netcare said the three-week lockdown initiated by President Cyril Ramaphosa might not be long enough to slow down the spread of Covid-19 to prevent the health system from being overwhelmed.
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SA to roll out chloroquine to tackle coronavirus

30 Mar 2020

The pharmaceutical company, Austell Laboratories, is importing half a million chloroquine phosphate tablets for use in severely ill Covid-19 patients, after receiving permission from the SA Health Products Regulatory Authory (SAHPRA).


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Healthcare workers without gear

30 Mar 2020

Frontline healthcare workers are at risk of being infected by Covid-19 without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), reported Sunday Times (29 March 2020). According to Natalie Zimmelman, chief executive of the SA Society of Anaesthesiologists (SASA), one in six of the current 500 000 Covid-19 patients globally is a healthcare worker infected at work, said Zimmelman.


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State lab expects to run 36 000 coronavirus tests a day by end April

26 Mar 2020

The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) has announced that it will be able to process 36 000 samples a day by the end of April. Currently, it can only do 5 000 tests a day. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the NHLS, had done 19 975 tests by March, 25. The NHLS will increase the number of laboratories performing Covid-19 tests from six to nine, and the number of mobile testing sites four to 20 by the end of April.


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WHO to use WhatsApp service for Covid-19 developed in SA

26 Mar 2020
The newsagency Bloomberg (25 March 2020) reported that the World Health Organisation (WHO) plans to reach at least 50-m people with a WhatsApp information service that delivers information on demand about the coronavirus.
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Pressure on HPCSA to greenlight remote consultations

26 Mar 2020
On March, 26, Financial Mail published an article by Katherine Child reporting that doctors are pleading for the medical regulator to allow them to consult via video and voice calls to keep vulnerable patients safe at home and ensure that those with Covid- 19 symptoms don’t come into busy waiting rooms. 
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SA’s total Covid-19 tally rises to 709

25 Mar 2020

By Wednesday (25 March 2020) the number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa rose to 709; including 4 recoveries. 425 959 cases have been reported globally; 18 957 have died and 109 241 have recovered.


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Labs under pressure as Covid-19 testing increases

25 Mar 2020

According to the heads of private laboratories in SA there were bottlenecks in the supply of N95 and surgical masks, swabs, and gloves, as well as testing kits.


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Do not use malaria drug, warns medicines regulator

25 Mar 2020
SA’s medicines regulator has warned consumers to stop buying an antimalaria drug in anticipation of Covid-19 infection, saying there is no evidence that it combats the coronavirus.
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