Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the donation of at least 700 beds worth R76 million could not have come at a better time as the province braces for, what experts say, could be a massive increase in the number of coronavirus cases.

The Gauteng Health Department and car manufacturer BMW have signed a memorandum of understanding to see the beds being added to some hospitals.

The hospitals are in the Tshwane region and include George Mukhari and Jubilee hospitals. Currently, there are 1 925 hospital beds for COVID-19 cases, of which 373 are critical care beds.

“I must say, that the storm has arrived in Gauteng. It will take all of us to weather the storm. In total there will be over 700 beds increasing what we are already doing as the Gauteng provincial government. We have been doing work to put over 2 000 additional beds in our existing facilities in all the key hospitals in our province. In addition to the beds, (there are) additional PPEs that we will need,” says Makhura.

Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku says while the number of hospital admissions for COVID-19 are increasing, most active cases in the province – do not require hospitalisation.

“We are still going to see the spike and we should brace ourselves for the peak. But when we say we are at the peak, it shouldn’t be to say we are running short of oxygen or running short of beds. But as the health care system, we should be able to assist those who require medical intervention. We are still in the fortunate side of things, that the active cases that we have, are not in need of medical attention.”

The Gauteng province has 36 895 coronavirus cases. This translates to 26.7% of the total number of coronavirus cases in South Africa.

So far the province has recorded 174 deaths with 8 580 recoveries.

Authorities say Gauteng’s infection rate might surpass that of the Western Cape, which is currently the country’s COVID-19 epicentre, after the clearing of the province’s testing backlog.

Below is a provincial breakdown of COVID-19 cases in SA:

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