Gauteng COVID-19 deaths have increased by 80% week on week: Dr Suliman

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Senior Researcher at the CSIR, Dr. Ridhwaan Suliman, says the number of people dying from COVID-19 in Gauteng has increased 80% week on week, and the situation in the province is of major concern.

Dr. Suliman says more than 5 100 people are being treated in hospital for COVID-19 in Gauteng alone and the province could still face even greater pressure as the third wave intensifies.

Gauteng is the province hardest hit by the third wave and accounts for around two-thirds of new infections.

Unpacking increasing COVID-19 cases in Gauteng with Prof. Bruce Mellado:

Dr. Suliman says the province was to some extent spared during the first and second waves and this may have led to lower immunity in the province ahead of the third wave.

He says the situation at hospitals in Gauteng is a worry.

“I think of concern what we are currently seeing is a significant rise in the number of reported deaths in Gauteng. It is accounting for more than half of the total number of reported deaths reported nationally. So in Gauteng, we’ve reported 62 new deaths per day on average over the last week and that figure has increased 80 percent week on week.”

Concerns over lack of hospital beds in Gauteng amid increasing COVID-19 cases:

Dr. Suliman says new admissions in Gauteng hospitals last week were up by 36% compared to the previous week.

“New admissions in Gauteng were just over 3000 last week, up 36% compared to the week before. Of concern is the number of patients currently in hospitals around Gauteng due to COVID-19. There are over 5 100 patients in hospitals in Gauteng and of those, over 1 100 are in intensive care facilities.”

Dr. Suliman has recommended a greater focus on the situation at hospitals in Gauteng as the coronavirus third wave hits the country’s economic heartland the hardest. It also has shown test positivity rates in excess of 20%.

People are urged to continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and regular handwashing to slow the spread of the virus.

It is also recommended that poorly ventilated areas and crowds of people should be avoided.

Dr. Suliman speaks to SABC News in the video below: