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VFS Global has launched an online appointment booking service for diagnostic COVID-19 tests which allows South Africans to book their test with a local lab.
The online platform is part of a global service the company now offers, which allows residents to book tests in their country.
While travel is one of the main reasons the company launched the offering, it is open to anyone and not just those planning a trip.
Customers can now book appointments for a COVID-19 diagnostic PCR test in 68 locations in South Africa.
These COVID-19 diagnostic PCR tests are offered in partnership with PathCare.
Last week, PathCare also announced that COVID-19 antibody testing is now available to South Africans. However, diagnostic tests and antibody tests differ in their purpose.
Diagnostic tests look for an active COVID-19 infection, while antibody testing focuses on whether the patient had COVID-19 in the past.
How the COVID-19 test booking works
The booking service lets you make an appointment for a COVID-19 diagnostic PCR test at a partnered laboratory.
Customers visit the COVID-19 test booking website and select their location.
They then need to follow these steps:
- Answer the questions regarding location and time preferences
- Fill in the online form to book an appointment for a COVID-19 diagnostic PCR test
- An invoice will be sent from VFS Global to make an online payment
- Customers will need to pay for their appointment using a debit or credit card to confirm the appointment
- A representative will send an email with the appointment confirmation
- Customers will receive a test requisition form to fill out
- This form must be brought to the appointment
- Following the test, customers will receive their results via email
According to VFS Global, the results will remain confidential. The lab will send these results within 48 hours.
The booking platform also offers an “At Your Doorstep” service. This service enables sample collection at the customer’s home, rather than a lab.
While booking, you can set your preferred area, date, and time slot for appointments.
The cost of these appointments ranges from R925 to R1020. At Your Doorstep bookings also appear to require a minimum of five customers.
Feature image: Screenshot/VFS Global