Gauteng gearing itself for Covid-19 spike
Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier David Makhura has indicated that his administration was concerned that infections would increase in the province due to the influx of people from different provinces and neighbouring countries.
On Tuesday Makhura, Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko and Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi joined law enforcement officers and health workers during a roadblock at the Carousel Toll Plaza as they searched and screened those who were making their way back to the province after the festive season.
Makhura said the provincial government was gearing itself up for more increases as more people came back to the country’s densely populated capital.
“Our province is entering a particularly worrying period. We have seen other provinces reach the peak of the second wave. We are just at the beginning, and the number of hospital admissions is rising. There is going to be a spike in the next few days and weeks ahead,” Makhura said.
He called on increased compliance with the preventative measures to help fight the effects of the second wave of the virus.
“We depend entirely on the cooperation of citizens in the fight against this Covid-19. They are not doing this compliance for the government but to help save lives and ensure that we slow down the infections,” Makhura said.
By Tuesday, SA had recorded a cumulative 1 113 349 positive cases, with 12 601 new infections recorded while the death was up by 434 to 30 60.
Gauteng is among the four provinces which had been identified as the key drivers of the second wave of infections, including the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
The Western Cape government indicated that its Garden Route district had passed its Covid-19 peak and that the rate of infections was significantly decreasing in the area.
The DA-led administration was yesterday among provincial governments that gave the first updates on the state of the coronavirus pandemic since the beginning of the year.
Provincial head of department for health Keith Cloete said while most districts in the Western Cape, which have all been declared hotspots, continued to register significant numbers in terms of infections, the Garden Route was the only district with a clear downward trajectory in both infections and active cases.
“That is why we can, with certainty, say that there is an established decline in the Garden Route. For everybody else, it is still an upward decline and a potential that we might be stabilising,” Cloete said.
The district was the only one which had its beaches closed and declared a Covid-19 hotspot in the province ahead of the festive season, a move which saw the DA unsuccessfully challenging the national government on the decision.
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane said the province had made good progress in its fight against the virus due to the enforcement of the current lockdown regulations.
Mabuyane had successfully lobbied the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to close all beaches and recreational parks ahead of the season as part of the fight against the spread in the province.
“Through these measures, we have reduced active cases in our province from 8000 at the start of December to around 5 000. Our recovery rate is now at 93%, and we are quite happy with that progress,” he said.
Mabuyane slammed reported exhumation of Covid-19 graves in the province by relatives who claimed that their deceased loved ones were being suffocated by the plastic material covering their coffins.