COVID-19Useful resources to stay updated on the progress and response to the COVID-19 pandemic
We are able to assist you with your travel COVID-19 test at a cost of R850.00 (upfront payment).
For identification purposes, the traveller should present with their ID document.
The traveller should provide their passport number and passport expiry date as this needs to be captured on the report.
Please familiarize yourself with the COVID-19 regulations of the country you intend the enter before making your appointment as result validity differs from country to country.
If you reside in Cape Town, please phone 0860 666 553 to make an appointment for testing. Alternatively, email your appointment request to email@example.com
Results will be available within 48hours and can either be sent to the traveller via email or a hard copy can be collected from any PathCare branch.
SARS-CoV-2 detection using rapid antigen testing
COVID-19 Testing for diagnostic purposes
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is at risk of getting COVID-19
People at highest risk for contracting SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID) are:
- people in areas with ongoing local transmission
- healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19, and the contacts of these HCWs
- close contacts of infected persons
What symptoms will I have with COVID-19?
Most people who get this disease will have very mild symptoms, like having a cold. Some people may not have any symptoms at all.
People who do develop symptoms generally have the following:
Fever • Headache • Sore throat • Cough • Muscle aches. • Many people may present with a loss of smell and/or taste.
In the minority of cases an individual may develop severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, or diarrhoea. If this happens, it is imperative that medical attention is sought and that you go to the hospital.
How does it spread?
Person to person contact is the main way the virus spreads. This is either through close contact or by the spread of droplets when someone who has the virus coughs or sneezes on you.
Close contact means that you had face-to-face contact within 1 meter (without a mask) or were in a closed space, for more than 15 minutes with a person with COVID-19. This contact should have happened while the person with COVID-19 was still “infectious”, i.e. from 2 days before to 10 days after their symptoms began.
Generally, if you are more than 2 meters away, the droplets won’t reach you, and should not be able to infect you. However, those droplets can land on surfaces, such as tables, door handles, or any other surface. The virus can survive on the surface for a long time if not thoroughly cleaned (currently estimated to be between 7-9 days if not cleaned adequately and depending on the type of surface).
If you touch that contaminated surface with the virus and then touch your face, especially your eyes, mouth or nose, you could become infected.
Can I have contracted the virus but have no symptoms?
Yes you can. If you are infected but show no symptoms, you might still be infectious to other people and it is therefore very important to keep to recommendations on hand hygiene, wearing of masks and social distancing.
What tests are done to diagnose COVID-19?
There are two different kinds of tests; one to make the diagnosis of an acute infection and one which may help to show a previous infection.
To diagnose an acute infection a test (PCR) is used which picks up the presence of the virus by looking for the genetic material of the virus. For this test we will collect a throat and/or nose swab or other type of sample and forward it to our laboratory for testing. The private laboratories (e.g. PathCare) and South African National Health Laboratory Service laboratories have the capability to perform this test.
The test takes about 48 hours to process. You will receive a SMS with your result stating whether the virus was DETECTED OR NOT DETECTED. We will contact your doctor with your results as well. Please wait for your doctor to contact you.
Are there any preventative measures I can take against contracting the virus?
There is currently no vaccine available to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection, but we urge you to get vaccinated against the flu, as this will strengthen your immune system.
Risk of infection and transmission can be reduced by:
- Reducing personal contact (e.g. by no longer shaking hands).
- Cleaning your hands before touching your eyes, nose or
- Properly cleaning your hands after coughing or
- Avoid using handkerchiefs and rather use a tissue and discard
- Wearing a mask in public areas
People at high risk for severe disease can further decrease their risk by:
- Stocking up on supplies to avoid going into public places often, or have other people bring supplies to your home.
- Often washing your hands with soap and water.
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Avoid large gatherings of people.
Do I need to routinely use a face mask?
Face masks are required to lower risk of infection and transmission. Facemasks prevent the spread of droplets and can help to prevent that you touch your own face when your hands might be contaminated.
How is COVID-19 treated?
There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Symptomatic treatment may be given, for example to reduce fever, muscle aches and sore throat.
If symptoms are severe (e.g. if an individual requires oxygen due to difficult breathing) treatment should not be managed at home and will need to take place in hospital.
What do I do if I’m concerned I have COVID-19?
Contact your doctor. If your symptoms are mild, it might be sufficient to stay at home and treat your symptoms, keep hydrated and get lots of rest. Currently the recommended period of time to stay at home is 10 days, as you could be infective for this amount of time. Keep practicing good hygiene at home and clean surfaces regularly.
Should I get tested for the virus?
If your symptoms are mild, no, it is not necessary to be tested but consult your doctor for advice. However, if you have to be in contact with other people and you are unsure whether your symptoms are due to SARS-CoV-2, testing is recommended to inform your contacts and avoid further spread.
What do I do if I have been in contact with someone with a SARS-CoV-2 infection?
If you have been in contact with somebody with confirmed or probable COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 10 days.
Get plenty of rest, and stay hydrated by drinking enough fluids. If you develop any symptoms, contact your doctor and:
- Practice good cough etiquette when coughing or
- Clean your hands after coughing or
- Wear a mask
If you feel short of breath, or have difficulty breathing, go to the nearest hospital. If possible, please try to phone ahead and inform the hospital/clinic/GP to tell them that you are coming.
Wear a face mask to prevent transmission to other patients and healthcare workers.
How do I explain COVID-19 to my child?
Manuela Molina created this short book to support and reassure our children, under the age of 7, regarding the COVID-19. This book is an invitation for families to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation. It is important to point out that this resource does not seek to be a source of scientific information, but rather a tool based on fantasy. Get the book here