No teens or children have died of Covid-19 in Gauteng: Makhura
The majority of people who have died as a result of Covid-19 in Gauteng are between the ages of 50 and 79, and most of them are men.
This was revealed by Gauteng premier David Makhura during a meeting of the provincial coronavirus command council on Thursday.
The province had recorded just over 45,000 cases of Covid-19 and 244 deaths.
Statistics reveal that people aged 50-79 accounted for 65% (156) of the total deaths. These are followed by those aged between 30 and 39 (23 deaths, or 9.4%) and those aged 80-89 (20 deaths, or 8.2%).
Not a single person under the age of 19 has died as a result of Covid-19 in the province.
In terms of underlying illnesses, Makhura said 142 of the deceased (58%) had either or both diabetes and hypertension. Diabetic patients accounted for 10% of deaths.
Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku said the province had seen a spike not only in the number of Covid-19 infections but also in other respiratory illnesses since the start of winter.
“We have noted that the patients under investigation are becoming a big challenge. Because of the winter season, we are seeing a lot of patients coming in with respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and others,” he said.
Masuku said the department’s aim was to ensure that all patients who required medical intervention received adequate attention despite the Covid-19 surge.
He said the department had various measures in place to increase infrastructure and beds ahead of the peak.
“We have a systematic way of how we’re going to address the issue of the beds and how we are going to address the issue of services.
“The field hospital will come in handy [for] the transition towards the peak, when we then combine all the capacity in our hospitals: capacity of repurposed beds, of field hospitals, and the capacity of additional beds which we would have put in place at the time of the peak.”
The MEC acknowledged that provincial systems had been feeling the pitch as 1,641 public servants had tested positive since March.
“Yes, the system is feeling the pressure. Yes, the system is feeling the stress. It’s not only the system itself in terms of beds but also our staff workers, who day in, day out have been seeing the numbers increasing.”