With Gauteng battling the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the province on Friday said Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni were the leading regions with the most number of active Covid-19 cases.
As of Thursday, Johannesburg had 7,679 active cases, Tshwane 5,701 and Ekurhuleni 3,649. The West Rand had the least number of active cases at 1,182 followed by Sedibeng at 1,588.
Addressing the media at its weekly Covid-19 briefing, the provincial coronavirus command council raised concerns at the number of new daily infections and a significant increase in weekly hospital admissions since 1 May 2021.
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Gauteng Premier David Makhura said the province was reaching the threshold of high-risk infections. This means over the past weeks there had been a sustained increase in the number of infections. Makhura said the third wave was peaking slower than the first two and officials don’t know when it will end.
“The spike is continuing, one week it gains faster momentum and slows down just a little bit sometimes as a result of weekends,” Makhura said.
The council said the surge was due to social gatherings where people were not observing non-pharmaceutical interventions like wearing face masks, sanitising, washing hands and physical distancing.
This includes large events such as weddings, funerals, social parties, religious services, political meetings and small gatherings of family and friends.
“The government is concerned about the sharp increase in the Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations in the province in the past week. This puts enormous pressure on Gauteng health facilities,” the provincial command council said in a report.
“We have increased the number of contact tracing and testing teams to meet the demand and we plead with residents to cooperate with them.”
As of 3 June, the cumulative number of active Covid-19 cases in Gauteng stood at 19,877, recoveries were 434,452, and the total number of fatalities were 11,339.
Currently, 2,956 patients have been admitted to various hospitals of which 955 are in ICU and high care and 1,981 in general wards.
Dedicated Covid-19 functional beds in the public sector total 2,728 and an additional 728 functional beds will be activated in the coming days.
On vaccinations, a total of 328,120 people have been vaccinated since the start of the government’s vaccination programme.
Healthcare workers and citizens older than 60 are being targeted in the vaccination drive.
There are 103 vaccination sites in Gauteng with 63 in the public sector and 40 private sector sites.
Makhura said they would ensure that vaccination sites make adequate plans for walk-ins. Walk-ins are not allowed if people are not registered on the government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).
“No person will be turned away from vaccination sites even if they are not registered to ensure they get vaccinated,” Makhura said.
The provincial government urged more residents who are 60 years and older to register for vaccinations on the EVDS.