20-year-old Nokwanda* heard about the partnership between Discovery and Vodacom, offering free COVID-19 online doctor consultations to all South Africans, via an Instagram post. That’s how she was able to determine that her symptoms were not those of COVID-19.
“I am a student and don’t have private medical scheme cover,” she explains. “I heard that many people were using the platform to access online doctor consultations for possible cases of COVID-19. I knew that it was really important not to go to a doctor’s rooms if you thought that you might have symptoms of COVID-19, so decided to give the process a try when I felt sick in mid-April.”
Nokwanda felt she had symptoms of COVID-19.
“I didn’t want to eat and had a fever. I was a bit scared,” she explains. “I downloaded the Discovery DrConnect app, registered and then was able to talk to one of the available doctors about the symptoms I had. I didn’t need to book an appointment as there were a few doctors online, available to consult. The doctor I spoke to reassured me that she didn’t think I had COVID-19 and that I should make an appointment to see my doctor. And she explained how to do this safely – to call ahead, alert them of my symptoms and so on. She suspected I had something else wrong.”
Nokwanda booked an appointment to see a nearby private doctor who did send her for a COVID-19 test to be on the safe side. The test was negative. “In the end, my symptoms were allergy related,” she explains. “I feel like DrConnect gave me direction and helped me to understand how to safely see my doctor, all about COVID-19 testing, and also to distinguish my symptoms from those of allergies. I felt very relieved to have this free help.”
Benefits of online doctor consultations
Protect everyone’s health. Book a doctor consultation from your home. If you feel unwell or think you may have COVID-19, stay home.
Keep in mind:
- You can have the COVID-19 virus and give it to others before you feel sick.
- Booking an online consultation from your phone or computer on the website is a safe way to speak to a doctor – and it will also help your doctor to stay healthy.
The COVID-19 online doctor consultations platform makes it possible for South Africans to access a healthcare professional without having to travel to a healthcare facility.
Being able to connect people to healthcare through this virtual channel limits exposure to COVID-19 and; therefore, safeguards the health of our doctors and healthcare workers who are providing care to patients with COVID-19.
What the online healthcare platform is for and who qualifies for free consultations
The platform offers a dedicated COVID-19 information hub and consultation platform from a computer, laptop or smart device. You can access the service from both the Discovery and Vodacom websites.
This platform is specifically for screening and consultations for COVID-19. Discovery and Vodacom fund consultations for South Africans who are at high risk of COVID-19, and who urgently need to consult a healthcare professional. If you are not at high risk, a consultation with a doctor will not be recommended.
Read up on free COVID-19 Online Doctor Consultations available to all South Africans through the Vodacom and Discovery partnership.
Find out more about DrConnect and download the DrConnect app today.
All medical information found on this website including content, graphics and images, is for educational and informational objectives only. Discovery Health publishes this content to help to protect and empower all South Africans by promoting a better understanding of COVID-19.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has caused an outbreak of fatal respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. This is a completely new strain with no vaccines available. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
No country is immune to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus - officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The outbreak has reached pandemic proportions and been declared a global public health emergency.
As toddlers, we learnt to wash our hands. But, did we ever master the skill to the extent that is needed to wash pathogens off our hands, and save lives? Multiple studies show people don't wash their hands at the right times, in the right way or for the right amount of time. We contaminate the things and people we touch with the germs we carry on our hands.