QUESTION: What if I can’t afford a coronavirus test?

While private testing at companies like Lancet Laboratories will cost you about R1 400, testing at designated government hospitals is completely free.   

These hospitals include:   

Mpumalanga: Polokwane Hospital, Rob Ferreira Hospital;

Gauteng: Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and Thembisa Hospital;

KwaZulu-Natal: Grey’s Hospital; 

North West: Klerksdorp Hospital; 

Northern Cape: Kimberley Hospital; 

Eastern Cape: Livingston Hospital; 

Western Cape: Tygerberg Hospital; and

Free State: Pelonomi Hospital.  

News24 previously reported that the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS), which covers more than 70 000 South Africans, announced it would also pay for tests and treatments for the virus.   

As for medical aids, Discovery Health said it would cover the cost of a test only if you are found to be positive. But if the results are negative, you would have to pay for the diagnostic with medical savings.   

Remember, you should only get tested if you start to show symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19, has travelled to a high-risk country, have worked with Covid-19 patients or if you have a severe case of pneumonia with an unknown cause.   

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