The COVID-19 storm in Gauteng may be subsiding, but law enforcement is not taking a backseat. Several raids were conducted in and around Johannesburg to enforce lockdown compliance.

The CDB, Mayfair and Soweto have been identified as being among the new hotspots.

The province has been experiencing fewer active cases and more recoveries, but it remains the COVID-19 epicentre.

Law enforcement is still in full force. After pictures of Jeppestown eatery Mia Mia went viral, police pounced on the area and surrounding hostels. Among the illicit goods, police found firearms and alcohol.

Police, SANDF enforce lockdown compliance in Johannesburg:

However, as authorities increase their visibility, locals are divided on the continuation of the lockdown.

Gauteng has over 180 000 COVID-19 cases and over 2 500 people in the province have lost their lives to the virus.

Premier David Makhura briefs the media on Gauteng’s fight against COVID-19:

COVID-19 peak in KZN

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says KwaZulu-Natal is currently experiencing the COVID-19 peak. Dr Mkhize, who visited the Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, says the peak is expected to last a bit longer in the province as it has a bigger population.

His visit to this hospital follows an incident where patients were being treated in a makeshift tent.

“If a patient can say to you ‘this is not suitable,’ certainly a professional should have found that out earlier. So, I don’t think there is much explanation that is needed here. What we needed are people to understand that this is not how you are going to be treating people, full stop,” says Mkhize.

His visit comes after a video showing a critically ill 67-year-old Sibusiso Khumalo being treated in a makeshift tent at the hospital. Many people on social media, including the Khumalo family, raised concerns over the poor conditions patients were subjected to.

Assessing the new screening centre at the hospital, Dr Mkhize says he is satisfied. He says all flu clinics in hospitals should be a dignified area where patients are assessed.

“All we have said is a principle of triangle tents or fever clinics. What it means is that there must be a place where patients will come in; where they will be able to observe social distances; where they will be able to ask them questions; check their temperatures and make sure that senior people, senior nurses, senior professionals can assess them and bring them in. Management has to take charge of how they change that. Where they were weak and there is a problem with the emergency team, they have to go there and do that. We then said they will find a place, something that can be used long after COVID-19 is gone – repurpose that, refurbish it. That is why yesterday we were seeing a number of buildings that were being refurbished to the point we don’t want to lose everything. We want to invest for the future.”

Dr Zweli Mkhize raises questions about inadequate health facilities in rural areas: 

KZN experiencing COVID-19 peak

Dr Mkhize says KZN is now experiencing its COVID-19 peak, which could last longer than in other provinces.

“Peak is here. It has been for a couple of weeks. We have been saying, Gauteng took off after Western Cape; the two took off at the same time. I went two weeks after Gauteng, it has been peaking. I am saying that because it took off late, we must expect that this is the focus it is going to be here a bit longer than what happened in the other provinces. So, the peak is where we are; now that is the surge. The question then is: numbers are still going up in KZN; numbers are going up in Gauteng, but the numbers that are going up in Gauteng. They are going up, but it is less than what they have been doing for four weeks, which means it is a slight decline. But the numbers are growing.

“In other words, if one week, Gauteng had 5 000 per day, the following week there are about 4 000 a day. They are still increasing, but they are not as high as they were a week before. KwaZulu-Natal was the one that was going to remain a little behind because they started late to grow, but they’ve got such a population that we do expect the numbers to go up anyway.”

The Minister also explained the trend they expect KZN to go through its surge.

“That rise is the fact it will go on until it reaches a tipping point where it starts slowing down. It may be still there in KZN and it will be slowed in KZN. We might be through that. When we say the storm is coming, we got into the storm with the Western Cape and it went province by province. The last province to have large numbers is KZN. We are going to see a proper decline when you look back three or two weeks later. We will then say for sure it is now gone down.”

Dr Mkhize has concluded his visit to KZN. He believes the province will be able to cope with the surge of COVID-19. – Additional reporting by Mahlako Komane.