Monday, 25 January 2021

COVID-19 At-Home Tests Now Available as South Africa Tackles Second Wave

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COVID-19 At-Home Tests Now Available as South Africa Tackles Second Wave

The South African government has tightened restrictions on social gatherings, travel, curfews and banned alcohol amid a growing surge in COVID-19 infections in the country. As such, testing stations around the country have been filling up since we entered the second wave of the pandemic in December last year.

To help customers get faster and more convenient access to test results, Zinacare, a leading provider of at-home medical test kits, has launched their COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit for a more flexible, and accessible alternative to local testing stations. These at-home kits promise a full laboratory analysis and secure online results, typically within 24 - 72 hours after lab receipt.

Says Philip Mngadi, Founder and Head of Product from Zinacare, “Millions of South Africans each year avoid traditional lab testing due to high or unknown costs, a lack of privacy and convenience, or some combination of both. Over 100 000 lab tests are run daily across private and public laboratories in South Africa, and lab testing is used in 70 percent of medical diagnoses. However, the traditional lab testing process is cumbersome, costly and discouraging.”

He continues, “Our COVID-19 tests are polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which check for SARS-CoV-2. The specimen for the test is collected by a nasopharyngeal swab. Our upper-nasal swabs only require patients to go as deep as the roof of the nose and rotate, making it a more comfortable alternative to the tests performed at testing stations but with the same accurate results. All test results are highly accurate and reliable and are processed in the same labs used by general practitioners and hospitals. All information is completely private and confidential, with tests being delivered in discreet packaging.”

Convenient and accurate

Customers can order the test kit, which will be delivered to their shipping address via UPS. Customers must schedule UPS collection upon delivery of the test kit or contact UPS to arrange a pick-up, and the test should be performed on the same day as collection is scheduled for. UPS will collect the kit and take it to the nearest Ampath laboratories for the customer.

Results will be made available within 24 - 72 hours either via a phone call from Zinacare’s in-house medical team or, if performed under the supervision of a medical professional, via email. Full instructions on the process of collection and how to use the test is included in the kit, which has a shelf life of 12 months.

Philip Mngadi continues, “Home health testing can often be more convenient and flexible than other traditional types of health testing. We are not a replacement for visiting a doctor or testing centre, nor are we a diagnostic service. We’re here to provide health insights to enable better healthcare decision making and help prevent the continued spread of the virus.”

For more information, visit the Zinacare website. 

Please note: If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they should seek medical help. A doctor will recommend treatment that is focused on managing symptoms as the virus runs its course. Anyone with COVID-19 must ensure adherence to 10 days of isolation and any contacts who may have been exposed to the infected person should be advised to get tested as well. If you feel very unwell, are experiencing breathing difficulties or feel the need for treatment, you should NOT wait for the results of this test and immediately call your healthcare provider or emergency services.

COVID-19 positive patients should contact the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 for the next steps.  Alternatively, send ‘Hi’ on Whatsapp to 0600 123 456.

About Zinacare
Zinacare is building a world where everyone can access insightful and life-changing lab tests.

Zinacare’s digital platform connects consumers with certified laboratory tests via at-home test kits that are ordered online, delivered and collected by courier and reviewed by medical professionals from one of the foremost labs in the country, Ampath Laboratories. Once the sample is submitted, online results with evidence-based insights, suggestions and next steps are provided to consumers within days. Zinacare has a growing menu of over 16 tests, including tests for COVID-19 and various STIs.

Founded in 2018 by Philip Mngadi, the Johannesburg-based company is advised by an Advisory Board that includes some of the nation's top scientists and serial entrepreneurs.

Published in Health and Medicine