The Department of Health, with Praelket, launched an expansion to their WhatsApp and USSD support service COVIDConnect. Now, South Africans can get their test results, see daily case numbers and do a COVID-19 risk assessment.
The risk assessment portion is an attempt to help people identify whether they need to get tested or not. The country is struggling under a backlog of COVID-19 tests and avoiding unnecessary testing is key to relieve the pressure on testing facilities.
To activate the COVIDConnect platform, either add the number 060 012 3456 to your phone and message “hello” to bring up a list of services. Otherwise dial *134*832# to bring up the USSD menu.
If you’re using WhatsApp, you respond with the word “check” and this will bring up the risk assessment.
It will ask you to input key information such as: age, gender, province, location and pre-existing medical conditions.
This is followed by questions which only require a “yes” or “no” response about how you’ve been feeling and who you have been in contact with.
You will need to give permission for the Department of Health to contact you if they deem it necessary. followed by the risk assessment evaluation.
If low risk, you will repeat the assessment. However, if you start to feel ill or come into contact with an ill person you are advised to re-take it. Higher risk people are contacted regarding further testing they may need.