Private COVID-19 testing, driven by Dis-Chem and facilitated by Ballito Lifestyle Centre owner, Bruce Rencken, commenced today at Ballito Virgin Active. This is the latest in a number of drive-through testing sites launched last week by Dis-Chem Pharmacies in an attempt to speed up Covid-19 testing and issuing of results.
The testing site at the Virgin Active has been erected in the parking area and will be open 09:00 to 16:00 on weekdays. Tests are carried out by fully trained registered nurses. The test being used is the same as the one presently utilised by healthcare practitioners and they are carried out exactly as they are at various laboratories. Testing is open to anyone and there is no need to pre-book. All results will be logged with the NICD.
Dis-Chem banners highlight the COVID-19 testing station at the Ballito Virgin Active
Dave Faber, owner-operator of the Dis-Chem stores at Lifestyle Centre and Ballito Junction, witnessed the first tests carried out today. “The testing is done in the convenience of your car to limit exposure,” he said. “Staff are safeguarded by protective equipment including gloves, masks, protective gowns and disposable equipment. The testing process is simple – anyone wishing to be tested will be directed to the registration point where they will complete NICD documentation. After payment of R850, the test will be carried out. Payment is by credit and debit card only (it is a NO CASH and NO ZAPPER facility). It is preferable that ONLY ONE person per vehicle utilises the testing facility, however obvious exceptions will be made for the disabled, elderly, minors and people without driver’s licences. Results will be available from 24 to 48 hours after testing.”
The Dis-Chem testing stations are primarily situated in the parking areas of a number of centres throughout the country where Dis-Chem stores are located. Lifestyle Centre management elected not to host the testing station at the centre; however, Bruce Rencken, the landlord for the Virgin Active and McDonalds site, facilitated its set up in the parking of the Virgin Active. According to Rencken, “We took the decision at Lifestyle Centre to rather keep essential shopping and COVID testing locations separate. The need for accessible and rapid testing is vital and we wanted to support Dave’s request to host a testing station in Ballito, so we came up with a workable solution by making use of a site that it not in operation at the moment. Wide spread testing is fundamental to the decision making of Government and needs to be ramped up, so I encourage all to make use of this very convenient and accessible facility”.
Dis-Chem COVID-19 testing is now convenient and accessible in Ballito
Lizeth Kruger, head of Dis-Chem Clinics, says that laboratories across South Africa have been put under additional pressure due to the rise in testing. “At times like these, whatever support the private sector can give to government will be valuable – we are all fighting the same unseen enemy, so Dis-Chem will be playing a supportive role in working to alleviate some of the pressure by introducing a drive-through testing option. With a greater testing capacity comes a truer picture of the spread of the virus in the country and we’re proud to be able to support the health authorities during such a challenging time,” she said.