Press Release 9 March 2020: COVID-19 Testing in Private Pathology Laboratories

The information in this document may be used for media queries as at 12h00 09/03/2020 unless otherwise indicated by Lancet Laboratories.

Testing for now, even in private labs will be prioritised for individuals that fulfil epidemiological and clinical case definitions and only if referred by a doctor. Epidemiological and travel information will still be collected on patients and all results will be shared with NICD which remains the reference centre for this epidemic.

Please refer to the accompanying newsletter for more information.

Answers to frequently asked questions:
Q. Do doctors still need to contact the NICD first, or do they use our virologist on call?
A. Doctors and patients are urged to contact the NICD directly on their hotline if they want testing to be done at NICD 0828839920. If Dr’s want their patient to be tested at Lancet Laboratories, and there is any uncertainty that the patient meets clinical and epidemiological criteria, the Lancet virologist on call on 0113580800 may be contacted.

Q. Do doctors need to complete a pathology request form or just the NICD documentation?
A. Lancet Laboratories has created a request form to assist that requires dates and location of travel, when the patient returned from travel, as well as symptoms and the date of onset of those symptoms. .

Q. What is the expected TAT?
A. 48 hours but this is dependent on where the sample is coming from.

Q. Will the result come through as with other results (into an EMR)?
A. Yes, the results are being issued as a standard Lancet Laboratories report.

The cash price is R1400. Medical rates vary dependent on scheme. Discovery has indicated that if test is positive, they will pay for everything from a COVID-19 benefit. If it is negative, if will come out of savings.


Tel: 011 358 0800.