60% of those with Covid-19 in Gauteng have got better: David Makhura

07 May 2020 - 16:04
By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Gauteng premier David Makhura.
Image: GCIS via Flickr Gauteng premier David Makhura.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Gauteng is 1,720 while 61% of those who tested positive since March 6 have recovered.

Premier David Makhura announced the figures during a provincial command council weekly update on Thursday.

“Slowing down the infection flattens the curve. A lower mortality rate, higher recovery rate and fewer active cases are what Gauteng has achieved during the lockdown.

“There are 70 patients currently admitted in hospitals. Eight patients are in ICU, eight in private and none in the public sector. Our clinicians emphasise that early interventions are important (oxygenation, fluid supportive treatment, prone position & blood thinning) could be the reason behind fewer complications and low mortality,” Makhura said.

In response to the next phase of the disease, Makhura said the local government will focus on testing and screening, particularly in sectors such as retail where a lot of people gather to shop, and in highly congested settlements.

“It’s difficult to achieve social distancing in high-density settlements. There’s a relationship between social vulnerability and achieving social distancing. Hence our testing is targeted.

“As we go into winter we are very alert. We are not out of the woods, we can’t be complacent,” he said.

During the seven-day interprovincial travel grace period, more than half a million people moved into the province from across the country.

“But tomorrow morning people will be expected to produce papers to prove why they are travelling,” said Makhura.

As of Thursday, 15 people have died in Gauteng as a result of Covid-19 and there have been 1,036 recoveries in the province. About 2.1 million people have been screened so far.

In terms of hospital capacity, Makhura said in addition to the 8,301 existing beds in both the public and private sectors, 1,600 beds have been added in different hospitals.

“The Tswane district hospital has been cleared to be a full-on Covid-19 hospital,” he added.

Makhura said that since the lockdown, 82,727 households have been provided with food relief, supporting a total of 413,635 people.

“The demand for food far outstrips our capacity to meet the need. We continue to call for more support from business, foundations and civil society initiatives on food relief. However, such initiatives must be co-ordinated with government and the distribution should avoid breaching social distancing regulations,” he said.

"The government is currently piloting e-Voucher for food relief so that there is dignity and choice on the part of the beneficiaries, Makhura added.