Covid-19 in Gauteng: David Makhura on testing, food relief and being responsible

08 May 2020 - 11:13
By Cebelihle Bhengu
David Makhura says more than half a million people moved into Gauteng during the one week's grace period.
Image: DANIEL BORN David Makhura says more than half a million people moved into Gauteng during the one week's grace period.

Gauteng premier David Makhura on Thursday spoke at a weekly provincial command council about the efforts made to combat the spread of Covid-19.

This is what you need to know:

Screening during 'grace week'

Citizens were given a week's grace (May 1-7) to travel between provinces without permits. Makhura said at least 90,000 tests were done during this period.

“More than half a million people moved into Gauteng. In those roadblocks, there was lots of screening and testing. ”

Residents must take responsibility

Makhura said residents must understand that lockdown measures were taken to protect them.

“We want to say to our people, whether you live in a suburb or a township, that these measures are good for you. We don't want police to be the ones to make you understand that this is important and about saving lives.”

Targeted testing 

Residents in overpopulated areas will be prioritised in tests and screenings. 

“We want to increase the number of tests, especially in hot spots, which are geographical spaces of high density contacts, as well as where we have active cases. 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.”

Early intervention

Health-care experts advised that Covid-19 patients must not be left without proper care as this will delay their recovery. They said waiting until the patient requires ventilation reduces their chances of recovery.

“Clinicians advised that early interventions are important. They include oxygenation, fluid supportive treatment, prone position and blood thinning. They identified a number of things that can be done apart from ventilation, which they say is often done when it's too late.”

Food relief 

Almost half a million people in more than 80,000 households have received food parcels from the provincial government since the beginning of the lockdown. 

“Since the lockdown, 82,727 households have been provided with food relief supporting a total of 413,635 people. However, the demand for food far outstrips our capacity and we call on businesses and foundations for more support.”