Entertainer Somizi Mhlongo has called on the department of health and the presidency to do something about the high price of testing for the coronavirus.
This as he visited a private doctor today to test for the virus after experiencing a cough. He worried that while he could afford the test, others in this country could not afford, and that would pose more challenges when dealing with it.
He said in a video: “So guys I am at a private hospital to do tests for the coronavirus … but also like my chest, I am coughing so you never know. But then I get here and I ask how much is it and they go ‘a thousand four, a thousand five’. That broke my heart.
“I asked what happened to people who can’t afford it, and they say: ‘No, there are public hospitals.’ I feel that something needs to be done about this. Even if I can afford it, I think it’s too much and I think they should start putting things in place because it might get worse and are we ready for it.
“I think this is where the department of health and the presidency need to step in and really do something about it because not everyone has access to proper clinics and hospitals and I do not think that people should pay to get tested for something like this.”
Somizi in 2017 said he was diagnosed with a “terminal disease” in 1999 that had the capacity to take his life within six months and it is incurable. He said he wouldn’t name the illness for personal reasons.
People with a pre-existing condition are more susceptible to complications from Covid-19 infection.
Somizi apparently debated whether it was worth seeking treatment and living with the chronic illness.
“I haven’t had the courage or the need to say which one it is between cancer, HIV and diabetes.”
He was apparently told he only had a month to live, but God had “other plans” for him.
Somizi explained that by cultivating a positive mindset he was able to rise above his affliction despite numerous days when it all felt like too much.
Watch his full video below:
According to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, early symptoms of Covid-19 can be chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, runny nose, fever, coughing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
He said during a meeting in KwaZulu-Natal last week: “It’s very simple: this virus spreads through what we call droplet infection. Droplet infection is this: while I’m busy talking to you I’m throwing out some droplets from the mouth. When I sneeze, the same thing happens, and when I cough too.
“If someone has tears, it can also come from the tears. So either someone will cough or sneeze next to you and then you can inhale the droplets and get the virus or it can be on your hands and you touch someone else and spread the virus. All you do is use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing. If you don’t have one nearby, you cough into your elbow or use a cloth/handkerchief.
“The other thing you need to understand: to get this infection you need to be in a really short distance of the infected person. If you are more than one to 1.5 metres, my droplets won’t reach you. So if you see someone is coughing, you can just stand at a bit of a distance.”
Citizens have also been urged to wash their hands with soap and water after bathroom visits. The minister further urged people to steer clear of stigmatising people with coronavirus and to avoid stereotypes.