Gauteng in eye of Covid-19 storm with Tshwane hardest hit
By Sakhile Ndlazi 25m ago
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Pretoria – Brace yourself! Gauteng is in the eye of the Covid-19 storm.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura, speaking at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, warned that the next few weeks would be very challenging for the province as the number of coronavirus infections continued to rise.
In total, South Africa recorded 17 421 new cases of Covid-19 in Sunday’s 24-hour review period, with an additional 339 deaths. There are 46 272 active cases in Gauteng (just under 20% of the national total).
Hospitals in the province are overwhelmed as the number of cases requiring hospitalisation increases, and at Steve Biko hospital, two tents were put up over the weekend outside
the Emergency Entrance to help serve as a triage and treating area for the increasing number of patients coming into the facility.
Makhura’s visit comes amid warnings that the country, struggling to contain the second wave which is fuelled by a virulent variant of the coronavirus, faced further waves, especially because super-spreader events continue despite the regulations.
Hospital admissions had doubled in the province over the past week with around 4 500 people in public and private hospitals across the province.
Tshwane is the province’s hotspot, showing the highest new infection rate.
This has largely been attributed to people returning to Gauteng after the holidays.
The increased numbers has led to the reuse of the temporary Covid-19 field centre at Nasrec in Joburg.
Public hospitals were now admitting in excess of 2 000 patients a day with an estimated 4 500 people in hospitals in the province.
At entrance 4 it is evident that Steve Biko is under siege. Dozens of oxygen cylinders and two huge tents accommodate patients.
The province had sufficient PPE, oxygen and facilities to manage the crisis, he said.