South Africa: More than 2 million people screened for virus in Limpopo

Limpopo’s health department said on Sunday that more than 2.7 million people had been screened for Covid-19 in the province.

The screening was done between April 14 and 24, provincial health MEC Phophi Ramathuba said in a statement.

“Following the launch of the provincial mass household screening programme by premier Chupu Mathabatha on the 14th of April 2020, we immediately deployed 9,856 community health care workers to carry out this task. By Friday, 24 April 2020 [they] had managed to visit 801,019 households. In the process, they also screened 2,781,765 people,” said Ramathuba.

“This constitutes over 50% of the entire population of the province,” she said. Of this 2,783 people were referred for testing and 1,770 were tested,” she added.

It was during the screening that health workers found a teacher in the Mopani area who they suspected had the virus. This was later confirmed to be the case.

“[He] is a 52-year-old male teacher from Greater Giyani in the Mopani district. He has a history of being admitted at a private facility in Gauteng and was discharged on the 6th of April,” said Ramathuba.

It was not immediately clear how he went from Gauteng to Limpopo during the lockdown which prohibits travel between provinces.

“His contacts have been identified and traced. Due to his comorbidity he has been admitted in a private facility where he is under isolation and is stable,” Ramathuba said.

Limpopo has had 30 positive Covid-19 cases and two fatalities.

One of those who died was a filmmaker and traditional healer who had spent time working in Cape Town.

He travelled back to Limpopo by car with his son before dying while seeking medical attention.