Dis-Chem Pharmacy's drive-through clinic which offers PCR swab tests used to diagnose active Covid-19 cases, are now offering Covid-19 antibody blood tests. This test to find out whether people have gained an immunity against the virus could be very beneficial in decisions made to ease lockdown levels and to understand how lethal the virus is.
The pharmacy's National Clinic Manager, Lizeth Kruger, said the antibody test could be performed at a cost of R380.
“We can slowly start offering this at all of our clinics nationwide. At this stage we offer them in our drive-through sites where we do the normal swab testing as well.
"We send it through to Lancet, who does the testing, and you will get your results with[in] 12 to 48 hours.”
Kruger said people who would like to make use of the services should book the tests on the pharmacy's website:
While the antibody test does detect whether it is very likely that someone has contracted the virus and had an immune response, scientists are unsure as to whether it proves that people will be immune to future infections.
"Given the current level of knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests, it is important to stress that regardless of your test result, patients must continue to apply basic non-pharmaceutical interventions (hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing of masks)," said Lizeth Kruger, Dis-Chem’s National Clinic Manager.