Gauteng Premier David Makhura says public health facilities may not be able to deal with the increased number of people who want to be screened for the coronavirus.

He says there is unnecessary panic and anxiety in communities, which forces them to rush to clinics and hospitals to test for the disease.

Makhura was briefing the media about the province’s plans to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Gauteng has the highest number of confirmed cases, currently at 61 out of the 116 cases nationally.

“I see there’s now panic, people are now streaming and flooding into our public health facilities. People are rushing to hospitals even those who are not likely to be exposed to this virus are all rushing to our facilities. That level of panic will outrun our facilities. We will not be able to manage large numbers of people who are streaming into our hospitals,” Makhura warns.

In the video below, Premier Makhura briefs the media on the plan to curb the spread of COVID-19:

Funerals and weddings

 Makhura says families, who want to conduct funerals or weddings, must inform their nearest police station in a bid to ensure that citizens adhere to the 100-person limit set by government.

He says Gauteng is the most vulnerable as the province is densely populated and has the most developed transport.

“We want to call on business to cooperate, including township establishments. Everyone who is applying for a funeral or for a wedding needs to do so at the nearest police station in your area. The police stations are helping us to monitor to ensure that the size of those events complies with the law. So, there’s a specific provincial police officer who is designated on behalf of the provincial commissioner coordinating all those applications so that there is full compliance.”

The inforgraphic below, shows the number of confirmed cases in South Africa:

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Meeting with religious leaders

Makhura says he will meet with religious leaders in Gauteng on Friday as part of government’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

He says most institutions have indicated they will cancel or postpone Easter services and has welcomed the move.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku says they are in discussions with medical practitioners and hospitals across the province to downscale outpatient and elective medical procedures in a bid to increase capacity as they battle the coronavirus.

The graphic below, shows countries affected by SA travel ban: 


Copy of epidemic v pendamic by SABC Digital News