Screening for Covid-19 rolled out to five districts, says Gauteng premier

09 April 2020 - 15:35 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
More than 28,000 people have been screened for Covid-19 in Gauteng. The province has 782 confirmed cases so far.
More than 28,000 people have been screened for Covid-19 in Gauteng. The province has 782 confirmed cases so far.
Image: 123RF/Jarun Ontakrai

The screening of people for Covid-19 in Gauteng has been rolled out to five districts, premier David Makhura said.

“Since March 31, we have screened 28,041 people,” Makhura said at a media briefing on Thursday.

He said of those screened, 440 displayed Covid-19 symptoms and were tested.

As of Wednesday, the province had 782 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The districts where screenings are to take place are: Johannesburg, Sedibeng, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and the West Rand.

“We launched screening in Alexandra on March 31, where we screened 1,693 people; 201 were tested and only one person tested positive. The person is in quarantine,” said Makhura.

The premier said three people had died of Covid-19 in the province. They all had underlying conditions, and one was elderly.

“We are deeply touched as the provincial government. We wish the families healing as they mourn the loss of their loved ones,” Makhura said.

Makhura said winter would pose a challenge in dealing with Covid-19 as many people suffer from colds and flu.

“As we are getting to winter, we are all vulnerable,” he said.

The province, Makhura said, had trained 8,005 health-care workers and had 607 professionals involved in tracing contacts and conducting screening and testing.

“The screening teams are going to areas of high vulnerability. They also go to suburbs and townships. So far they have been to communities that are relatively well off and those that are disadvantaged. We will give a breakdown of these districts when the numbers are coming in,” said Makhura.

The breakdown of people who have tested positive for Covid-19, by district, is as follows:

  • 440 in Johannesburg;
  • 111 in Ekurhuleni;
  • 90 in Tshwane;
  • 12 in the West Rand; and
  • six in Sedibeng.

According to Makhura, a further 123 cases have not been allocated.

“We have improved our capacity to trace contacts. We have traced 90% of contacts. So far we are using our own technology. We have introduced a self-screen feature. We would urge those who have handsets who want to use technology to use the Impilo app,” Makhura said.

Makhura said the province had adequate protective equipment for health-care workers.

“The provincial government is doing work to increase the number of beds for Covid-19. In some of the health-care facilities, we are clearing certain sections of the hospitals,” he said.