Close to 600 schools in Gauteng have been affected by the coronavirus. Gauteng Premier David Makhura says at least 184 learners and 428 teachers have tested positive.
Makhura was briefing the media on behalf of the Provincial Coronavirus Command Council on Thursday.
“So in total, the learners plus the teachers we have 687 people who have tested COVID-19 positive. We have closed down 71 schools. But as you know, the school is not closed forever it is closed down when there is a case decontaminated and then reopened.”
Makhura says the month of June has seen a sharp spike in the number of confirmed cases on a daily basis. Gauteng now has the largest number of active cases in the country.
“Hospitalisation has also increased exponentially in the past 14 days. Although the mortality rate is still low, but it is increasing. The COVID-19 storm has arrived.”
Makhura says work is currently under way to increase bed capacity and staffing in the public sector, including field hospital beds at Nasrec and Tshwane Events Centre.
“4 500 additional beds will be ready by the end of July, in preparation for the peak.”
Below is the Gauteng Provincial Command Council update on COVID-19 in Gauteng:
Number of beds
Earlier, Gauteng Health MEC, Bandile Masuku dispelled rumours that there are insufficient hospital beds in the province to deal with COVID-19 cases. The rumours were circulating on the messaging platform, WhatsApp, yesterday.
Masuku is briefing the media on behalf of the provincial COVID-19 Command Council. “Yesterday, I did see that particular Whatsapp that was circulating about hospitals being full and there was no truth to it because at that point the hospitals had almost 120 or so ICU beds across the systems. So it’s an important thing that we also have to discourage individuals and people from putting up information that is not truthful into the public platform because it causes unnecessary panic.”
Makhura says the Gauteng it will be engaging with the National Command Council on the need to re-introduce stringent measures. “(These) include possible intermittent localised lockdowns & slowing down of re-opening of sectors and schools. “