Kloof Road Medical Centre (KRMC) is considered an essential service and will be open to the public. Their hours were slightly reduced to enable their temporary staff to stay home for the lockdown, but the doctors are still there to assist where they can.
In light of the Corona pandemic, media hype and lockdown, here is some perspective from KRMC:
Testing for COVID-19
The centre has been receiving a lot of requests for COVID testing. At this stage, the health department has asked us to reserve testing for patients who are considered high-risk. The reason behind their request is the sheer volume of tests being done. At one point the maximum number of tests being processed was 300 per day, and the backlog was over 6000.
This means people who urgently required a result were waiting 5 – 7 days. Testing will now be restricted to patients who are considered high risk. High risk patients are patients over the age of 65 or patients with a severe underlying illness (including heart disease, renal disease, COPD, Autoimmune disease or Diabetes) plus at least three of the following criteria:
1. Temperature > 38.0.
2. Dry cough with shortness of breath/difficulty in breathing.
3. Oxygen saturation levels under 90%.
4. Severe body pains or:
5. Hospitalisation with no other obvious diagnosis. Please appreciate that people not meeting the above criteria may indeed have the Coronavirus, but will be requested to self isolate for 14 days until their immune system has eradicated the infection and they are no longer contagious. Unless they get extremely ill, the treatment remains fluid, rest and self-isolation, which is what we’re all doing with the current lockdown anyway.
Bedfordview, the epicentre
The news recently reported (incorrectly) that Bedfordview was the epicentre of the COVID infection (along with Sandton). This has caused a lot of panic in our community. Please appreciate that the data the Government currently uses for all its stats are only based on the tests completed. As Bedfordview, and Sandton, both have large dedicated COVID testing centres, most of the data collected will be from these points.
Hence the data and information received will be massively skewed. The virus is definitely out there, and the lockdown is a necessity, but they don’t believe their numbers (as a ratio) are any higher than any other high-density area in Gauteng. Fortunately, two days after that media briefing a statement was released confirming that Bedfordview was not the epicentre of the Gauteng pandemic (Thank you, Megan Hall).
They’re also trying something new at our centre. Telemedicine! Please understand that most of their doctors are technophobes, so this is a BIG step for us. They’ve decided to pilot this project over the next few weeks, with the possibility of using it in the long term, after the lockdown and the COVID chaos has ceased. Obviously this is for all our protection, and to try to prevent unnecessary exposure to the virus. It is in its very early stage, so they expect many teething problems (and with most of the dentists at home with lockdown, these toothaches will take time to resolve – so please bear with us).
Consultations will be 10min long, at a slightly reduced price and included a faxed/emailed script to the pharmacy. If we find there is something we cannot assist with over the net, we will ask you to come in for a full consultation.
‘We’re all in this together, and together we’re striving for a better tomorrow. Please realise that this virus is highly contagious. World health experts recognise that 70-80% of the world’s population will get infected by COVID-19, but also understand that 80% of people will only get a mild flu-like illness. To date (29th March 2020) 100% of the patients we have seen in our practice, who tested positive for the Coronavirus, have all fully recovered. And that’s not through anything we as doctors did. The patients stayed at home, rested and self-isolated. The virus is most definitely out there, but it can be beaten,’ said KRMC.
Remember the 4’s: Be Safe! Be Smart! Self-isolate and Sanitise and let’s look forward to a brighter tomorrow and a defeated virus.