In an effort to increase its capacity and upscale COVID-19 screening and testing, the Gauteng Department of Health has partnered with Rebosis Property Fund and Faith Care Medicals to set up testing stations in Rebosis owned malls around Pretoria. This partnership will benefit various communities in Pretoria and surrounding areas especially those that have been identified as COVID-19 hotspots and are also densely populated thus posing a health risk. The testing stations will be rolled out in phases at the demarcated areas outside malls owned by REBOSIS. The first mall-based testing station in Gauteng was officially opened by Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku together with the CEO of Rebosis Dr Sisa Ngebulana and the founder of Faith Care Medicals Ms Faith Mabuza on Tuesday morning (26 May) at Forest Hill City shopping centre in Centurion. This mall is in close proximity to Olivenhoutbosch and Diepsloot areas as well as various residential communities. Phase two of the project will see another station being opened at Bloedstreet Mall which is located in the Pretoria CBD. This mall a taxi ranks that services various routes ferrying people from townships such as Mamelodi, Soshanguve, Mabone, Hebron, Hammnaskraal etc).
The third station will be located at Sunnypark Shopping Centre which is situated in Sunnyside, Pretoria. This mall caters for government workers and students who either live in the area or frequent there for work and schooling purposes. The testing stations will assist to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic by giving shoppers and members of the public access to screening and testing facilities, at no cost to the public. A key strategy to reducing the spread of Coronavirus is to screen and test as many people as possible through a targeted strategy focusing on hotspots so that those that test positive can be referred for medical management and their contacts traced. To date 5 118 192 screenings have been conducted and 110 741 tests done across the Gauteng Province.
“The current pandemic is unprecedented and requires mutual commitment by everyone to assist the country as best they can to deal with it and mitigate its impact, especially to protect those most vulnerable in our society. Besides our ongoing commitment in assisting our poor communities through food distribution programs and other necessities, it is much important to, among others, make testing accessible and less costly. We have made a commitment to do this by availing infrastructure, equipment and appropriate medical personnel, at our shopping malls’ parking spaces, and other properties, for the benefit of our surrounding communities, in partnership with Faith Care and Gauteng Government to provide maximum testing and early diagnosis,” explains Dr Ngebulana. Faith Care Medicals founder, Faith Mabuza, described the public private partnership as a practical way of heeding the call by President Ramaphosa for all sectors of society to work together in efforts to minimise the spread of COVID-19. “We are grateful for this strategic partnership with REBOSIS Property Fund and Faith Care Medicals which will intensify the fight against the spread of Coronavirus pandemic. We wish to extend our appreciation to our partners for working with us to save lives,” states,” MEC Masuku calling on other mall owners and business to come on board and ensure the project implemented throughout the province to ensure that as many people as possible especially in the areas identified as hot spots get to be tested and are given the necessary care if found to be positive.