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Ekurhuleni becomes new Covid-19 hotspot as Gauteng cases reach 2,400

Gauteng premier David Makhura says the province is compliant with Covid-19 regulations.
Gauteng premier David Makhura says the province is compliant with Covid-19 regulations.

Gauteng is increasing its stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) in anticipation that the "time ahead is going to be tough".

Premier David Makhura said on Thursday that the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the province as of May 20 was 2,400, with 1,729 recoveries and 27 deaths.

Out of a total of 10,971 contacts traced, 8,485 people had completed a 14-day monitoring period with no symptoms and had been de-isolated.

There are 62 people who have been hospitalised in public and private facilities.

Makhura spoke about the tracing of people who had come into contact with those who tested positive, compliance with regulations and the the readiness of businesses to reopen.

“Contact tracing in Gauteng, we are at 90%. We want 100% ... We are worried that Ekurhuleni has become a hotspot. In terms of new infections, it is becoming a huge problem for us as a province,” said Makhura.

“Where we are now, the level of compliance is much higher than before the lockdown. It is higher particularly in the public transport system.”

Businesses that did not comply with regulations would be shut down, he warned.

“We had a fruitful engagement with more than 160 CEOs to evaluate their compliance with the level 4 protocols and assess their readiness for level 3,” he said.

“We will not advocate [for] the economy at the expense of workers. We basically want to make sure that workplaces have risk assessment processes. When workers arrive at workplaces every day, they should be screened.”

There are 8,301 beds available in private and public hospitals in the province for Covid-19 patients - but Makhura cautioned that this was “not enough”.

“Last week we had 11-million [pieces of] personal protective equipment, this week we are at 11.4-million. We are increasing the stock because we are anticipating that the time ahead is going to be tough,” he said.

In terms of food parcels, Makhura said the province had provided 136,880 to households, which meant 684,400 people had been fed so far.

He warned that people roaming the streets without observing the rules would have to adjust to the new norm. "There are still people going up and down as if Covid-19 doesn’t exist. Police cannot force people to wear masks - it's not their job to change people's behaviour."

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