South Africans warned against panic testing for coronavirus

Scientists are warning the shortage of equipment may disrupt efforts to fight the spread of the virus.

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JOHANNESBURG - From panic buying to panic testing - South Africans are being urged to only test for coronavirus (COVID-19) when necessary as the country faced a shortage of test kits.

Scientists were warning that the shortage of equipment may disrupt efforts to fight the spread of the virus.

WATCH: South Africa’s coronavirus interventions

Lancet Laboratories head of virology Professor Eftyhia Vardas warned on Wednesday against panic testing.

“We will run out of testing kits but also gloves, face masks, and swabs to actually do the test,” Vardas said.

But, when should people go for testing?

Vardas said: “If you’re sick enough to be hospitalised with a respiratory tract infection, you will definitely get tested. Also, if you’ve travelled to a place where there is sustained human-to-human infection of COVID-19.”

Chinese billionaire and Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma pledged to donate over one million testing kits to the continent.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.