June 2023 COVID Symptom Update: South Africa

COVID has been on a break for a while, but it looks like the latest season is out. We’re seeing a sudden increase in testing at our centres. XB.1.15 (the Kraken)

You can learn more about that on the NICD helpful report, which tracks which variants are infecting people in South Africa, here.

What Did The Positive Cases Look Like?

✔ On average, positive cases were between 30 and 50 years old.

✔ 68.2% were women and 31.8% were men.

✔ 66.7% had not received their COVID-19 vaccine.

✔ 90% said they were feeling COVID symptoms.

What Variant Is Spreading In South Africa?

The latest National Institute For Communicable diseases COVID-19 variant tracking report on is out. This means that we’ve got the inside scoop on which variants are worrying experts.

According to the NICD, the main variant of Concern is Omicron in South Africa. Omicron continued to dominate in February with 99.2% of all cases attributed to this variant (NICD, 2023). March was even higher at 99.9% but in April this variant fell ever so slightly to 99.0% (NICD, 2023).

The sub variant of omicron known as XBB.1.5 was the dominant lineage in February (69%), March (78%) and April (81%) (NICD, 2023). It is currently dominant in May (79%), although this is based on low numbers (n=19). Recently, XBB.1.16 has been detected at a low numbers in March and April (<5%) in Gauteng (n=3) and the Western Cape (n=4) (NICD, 2023).

The Kraken Variant: XBB.15 Explained

This variant has spread throughout South Africa and the world. Understand what makes this sub-variant so good at infecting people and why it has such a ridiculous nickname.

Need A Free COVID-19 Test?

Get free COVID-19 and Flu testing at home! 🏡

If you or someone you know is experiencing flu or COVID symptoms, we’ve got great news for you! Now you can get tested right from the comfort of your own home.

Introducing the Cough Check study, a groundbreaking initiative by Epicentre Health Research in partnership with local healthcare providers and the National Institute Of Communicable Diseases. This study offers FREE testing for sick people over 5 years old who live within a 30 km radius of an Epicentre Walk-In Lab.

💪 Join us in the fight against COVID-19 and Flu!

By participating in the Cough Check study, you not only gain access to free testing but also become an essential part of important research on these illnesses. Your involvement can help us better understand and combat COVID-19 and Flu, ultimately making a positive impact on public health. Together, we can make a difference!

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to prioritize your health and contribute to the greater good. Spread the word and share this post with your friends and family! Let’s ensure everyone has access to this convenient testing option.

The Cough Check study is currently available in Cape Town, within a 30 km radius of Hillcrest, and Johannesburg. If you or someone you know fits the criteria, book your test today and let us come to you!

Different COVID-19 Variants Explained

We answer the big questions like:

✔ What is a new ‘strain’ of COVID-19?

✔ How many variants of COVID-19 are there?

✔ Do these changes make it more or less deadly?

South Africa Before the COVID Vaccine: The NCAS Findings

Epicentre visited 19 000 South Africans in all nine provinces to test them for COVID-19 in November 2020 – June 2021. Now the results from our study are out.

We took a look at how susceptible South Africans were with our natural immunity.

Getting Sick In 2023: The Flu, A Cold Or COVID?

The virus landscape has changed a lot since late 2019. In the pre-COVID world, when we got a runny nose, a cough or a sore throat, it was usually obvious what bug was bothering us. Now the answer is usually less obvious and more troubling.

Learn More About Our Walk-In Lab

Epicentre has an extensive walk-in testing centre for both rapid and lab tests. Learn more here.

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Book with Epicentre

For 20 years Epicentre has been fighting South African’s infectious diseases, and now we’re taking on COVID-19! We are a company founded on a vision, ending disease in South Africa! So we believe in making an IMPACT.

We are an independent organization that is committed to creating a positive impact on health & wellness for all in South Africa. We want to close the gap between unscreened, undiagnosed, and uncontrolled HIV & COVID-19 infections as well as other chronic diseases for all South Africans.

By booking your tests with Epicentre, you are supporting a real local company that has worked for 20 years in all 9 provinces, from Pollsmoor prison to Constantia; & you’re getting a gold standard service that experts trust!

Epicentre Special Deals

We offer free and heavily discounted tests as they are subsidized by research organizations that are looking to use this anonymous information to investigate various research questions, like can people test themselves for COVID?

10% Off All Walk-In Lab Tests

Only for pensioners at all branches.

Free Blood Pressure Tests

With all Walk-In Lab tests

Rapid COVID-19 Antigen/infection testing

R50 pensioners discount!

Epicentre offers

Walk-In Lab

Please note that our packages are just a guide, you can pick any of these tests in these packages, add extra tests or take out any tests. Choose what suits your needs!

Women’s Wellness Package (Foundation)

Women’s Wellness Package (+40yrs)

Men’s Wellness Package (Foundation)

Men’s Wellness Package (+40yrs)

Arthritis Package

Athletes Total Wellness Package

Diabetes Monitoring Package

Diabetes Screening Package

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Package

Comprehensive Weight Loss Package

Kidney Package

Liver & Pancreas Package

Long COVID Package

HIV Monitoring Package

HIV Screening Package

Iron Deficiency & Anaemia Package

Menopause Package

Women’s Fertility Test Package

Men’s Fertility Test Package

STI Screening Package

Thyroid Screening Package

Laboratory Typhoid Test


Measles Test Package

Drive Through

Drive-Thru COVID Tests

Rapid COVID-19 Antigen/infection testing

(R250 with a R50 pensioners discount!)

Drive-Thru COVID-19 PCR Testing


Home based COVID-19 PCR Testing

(R1150 + travel over 50kms)

Rapid COVID-19 Antibody Tests

On Sale! (R150)

Express International Flight Testing

(PCR Flight certificate in 12hrs)


Cape Town Only

Extra Express International Flight Testing

(PCR Flight certificate in 4-5hrs)


Cape Town Only

International Flight Testing Package

(PCR + Antiviral Mask)


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