Lancet Labs offers Covid-19 testing

Johannesburg – Lancet Laboratories says it has made lab testing for coronavirus available to the public as from Monday.

 A clinical virologist at Lancet Laboratories, Professor Eftyhia Vardas said they have a screening procedure. “We’re going to ask you questions about where you’ve been and what you’ve done. If you had contact today with somebody coughing and spluttering it doesn’t mean that this test will pick up the virus. Five days later, it might. If you had contact today and demanded a test, it’s not going to be helpful. If you had contact with somebody who is ill and has been somewhere severely affected by Covid-19, that’s when you should come and see us.”

  Testing for now, even in private labs will be prioritised for individuals who fulfil epidemiological and clinical case definitions. 

  Lancet has clarified that these tests would be done privately only if the patient is referred to by a medical professional. They stated that the cost would be R1 400, but medical aids could charge a different amount, depending on the company chosen.

  Doctors and patients are urged to contact the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) directly on their hotline if they want testing to be done at the institute.

If doctors want their patient to be tested at Lancet Laboratories, and there is any uncertainty that the patient meets clinical and epidemiological criteria, the Lancet virologist on call on may be contacted.

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