• A month after Dis-Chem closed its testing sites due to a backlog at laboratories, it has re-opened some across the country.
  • The chain says its process has been improved, and its systems have been directly integrated into laboratories.
  • Test results should now be SMSed within 48 hours.
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After closing its Covid-19 drive-through testing stations a month ago, Dis-Chem has re-opened some of them again – promising SMSed results within 48 hours.

In July, the company shut down the stations because it was struggling with a backlog in getting results from the testing labs it was using, amid a spike in coronavirus cases, particularly in Gauteng.

But it now says that its testing process has been improved to include online registration and direct integration into the systems of laboratories to speed things up.

“The system will be able to regulate the number of tests carried out at each site while controlling the number of tests that will be sent to contracted laboratories, which have committed to making test results available within 24 to 48 hours”, says Lizeth Kruger, national clinic manager at Dis-Chem.

You will have to pre-register on Dis-Chem’s website or via its app, and pick a date and drive-through site. In Gauteng, testing sites at Centurion Mall and EastGate are open, while in the Western Cape, testing is available at the Willowbridge, Blue Route, and Table Bay malls.

The full list is available here.

The chain launched drive-through Covid-19 testing sites in April, with each test costing R850. It also started to offer free Covid-19 testing to those without medical aids, and the unemployed. 

Dis-Chem, which was fined R1.2 million by the Competition Tribunal for hiking surgical face masks at the start of the pandemic, faced some criticism because the company charged its own employees for Covid-19 tests, if those turn out to be negative.

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