The Health Department says COVID-19 models predict that Gauteng will within the coming days emerge as the next epicentre of the disease in the country.

According to a report by the Portfolio Committee of Health in the Gauteng Legislature, the department attributes this to inward migration, large population sizes in the metro and the congregating of people.

The Gauteng government says it’s worried that the province is experiencing an alarming increase in COVID-19 infections, with the death toll also rising.

The death toll has increased to 180.

Most of those who’ve died from COVID-19 are men with commodities such as diabetes and hypertension.

In the tweet below, the Health Department outlines some reasons for the prediction: 

Metros, frontline workers most affected

The province has nearly 40 000 thousand cumulative cases, while over 9 000 people have recovered.

The metropolitan areas account for 88% percent of active cases.

The City of Johannesburg leads with 51% of active cases, followed by Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.

Of concern to the department is the recent increase in cases in the West Rand.

Public health workers were reported to be the most infected with 965 cases, followed by the health workers in the private sector with 881 cases.

The mining sector accounts for 467 cases and 381 educators in the province have also tested positive.

Measures to curb infections

According to the report, the department had responded by putting measures to cap the spread of COVID-19.

These include procurement of two private laboratory services, establishment of district response teams, continued screening and contact tracing, targeted testing approach and continued education and awareness as well as daily monitoring of the virus behaviour.

About 2 188 people are in quarantine facilities provided by the department.

The tweet below outlines some of these measures: 

Over 10 000 full-time community health workers have been deployed across the five districts in the province.

Residents have been urged to adhere to health protocols of washing hands regularly, social distancing and the wearing of masks when out in the public as well as avoiding crowded areas to flatten the curve and bring down the rate of infections.