Gauteng Premier David Makhura visits Steve Biko Academic Hospital where a parking lot has been converted into a ward due to shortage of space in the hospital. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)
Gauteng Premier David Makhura visits Steve Biko Academic Hospital where a parking lot has been converted into a ward due to shortage of space in the hospital. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Tshwane key driver behind Gauteng Covid-19 second wave – Makhura

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Jan 13, 2021

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Pretoria - Tshwane Metro has been identified as the first key driver behind the provincial Covid-19 second wave, Premier David Makhura reiterated yesterday.

Makhura was speaking during a virtual briefing by the Provincial Coronavirus Command Council.

He attributed the coronavirus spike in Tshwane to a number of super-spreader events, including parties hosted by young people on the R80 highway in December.

He also said the majority of matriculants who attended a rage party in Durban and contracted the virus were from the city.

According to Makhura, the rapid rise of infections was the ripple effects of the interactions that people had in December.

"In some instances, young people were drivers of the party. Some people came together, violating the regulations on highways. The one on the R80 is an example (of super-spreader events)," he said.

He cautioned young people against the new variant of the Covid-19, saying it was deadly.

"The hospitals are reporting to us that a lot of young people are also getting admitted. It is important to say to young people that please take care of yourself," Makhura said.

He reiterated that the largest number of hotspots were in the municipality.

"We are working with the metro to ensure that we address these issues. The second wave, as it is unfolding, is not just confined to certain spaces. We have hotspots that are in the city centres and hotspots in the townships. There is no part of the province that is being spared," he said.

Professor Bruce Mellado, member of Premier's advisory committee on Covid-19, said Atteridgeville, Soshanguve and Mamelodi were among places in the province with quite a number of hotspots.

He pleaded with the public to exercise social distancing and adhere to restrictions on huge gatherings.

"Indications are that level 3 restrictions have slowed down the escalation. However, we must not relax because we have not yet reached the peak," he said.

The province currently has 50 000 active cases, which was second to Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Makhura said the numbers could have jumped to 90 000 without the intervention of level 3 lockdown.

He further shed light on the readiness of hospitals in Tshwane to handle Covid-19 cases, saying work was under way at Bronkhorstspruit hospital to beef up its capacity by increasing the number of patient beds by 150.

The hospital upgrade was done in partnership with BMW, and was anticipated to be complete by the end of this month.

"It is going to be a useful facility to help relieve the pressure on Mamelodi," he said.

There was an alternative beds technology (ABT) structure at Jubilee district hospital with 300 beds. The ABT project in Kopanong hospital had ground to a halt due to disruptions to it.

Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital also experienced some disruptions to its ABT project, but work had since resumed to install additional beds.

In the next two weeks, the province will get 375 ABT beds for different hospitals.

"Where there has been a delays at Kopanong, our provincial executive committee has taken a very firm view that the contractors who have not lived up to the expectation of their contractual obligations, action must be taken against them," Makhura said.

Pretoria News

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