Residents seeking virus testing say clinic turned them away

One of the oldest townships in South Africa, Langa.

Langa residents were concerned about contracting the coronavirus after they came into contact with a local supermarket employee who tested positive for Covid-19. And, they said, they were turned away when they went to get tested at the local clinic on Wednesday April 29.

One of the anxious residents said they were told to go to Vanguard Community Clinic to get tested.

Langa ward councillor Nomtha Dilima said residents had been informed that nurses at the Langa clinic could not deal with walk-ins.

“The people who were turned away were told to come back at 11am on Wednesday for screening, even though the nurses take a certain number of people.

“The people who are already on the database get helped first and then the rest are considered,” she said.The City’s mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien said there had been miscommunication between the community and Langa clinic.

“Everyone who is coming into the facility is screened, but not everybody who is screened gets tested because there are certain requirements one needs to meet,” he explained.

“Working closely with the ward councillor, we will continue to teach the residents so they understand the difference between screening and testing. We will also explain to them that the clinic is only equipped to do both screening and testing so that they don’t have to travel to Vanguard clinic to be tested,” said Dr Badroodien.

One of the emotional staff nurses at the clinic asked Ms Dilima to address the residents who became disrespectful toward clinic staff.

“They have been so mean to us all morning, they throw side comments when we go past and it demotivates us, because it feels as though they don’t appreciate our effort,” she said.