Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, has announced that parts of the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg will be reopened, starting with the cancer unit on Monday. He was speaking while presenting his office’s budget during a virtual sitting of the Gauteng Legislature.

The hospital has been closed since April after sections of the facility were severely damaged by fire.

Makhura says those parts of the hospital that had not been impacted by the fire will re-open.

“Yesterday we took a decision to urgently open those parts of the hospital that have not been structurally affected by the fire so that they can alleviate the burden. We have received block 1 and 2. Oncology is ready with full compliance.”

Coronavirus transmission in Gauteng 

There have been calls for the hospital to re-open amid a massive third wave of the coronavirus that is hitting Gauteng particularly hard.

Chairperson of the Gauteng Premier’s Advisory Committee on COVID-19, Dr. Mary Kawonga, says the levels of coronavirus transmission in the province are extremely high and rising. She made the remarks while giving an update on the spread of the virus in the province.

Gauteng is currently accounting for around two-thirds of all new infections. Yesterday, Gauteng reached the highest number of cases recorded in a 24-hour cycle, with almost 11 000 new infections.

Dr. Kawonga says the test positivity rate is also worryingly high at 37%. “There’s high and increasing risk of transmission in the community. It means there’s many people in the community who are positive who have not been picked up by testing. Despite that we ramped up testing…it means our testing is not keeping up with the rate of transmission in the community. “

Gauteng Provincial Command Council briefs the media on COVID fight: