West Rand is new Covid-19 hotspot as Ekurhuleni infections slow

Gauteng premier David Makhura said the province has established multidisciplinary ward-based teams to deal with the growing numbers of Covid-19 cases.
Gauteng premier David Makhura said the province has established multidisciplinary ward-based teams to deal with the growing numbers of Covid-19 cases.
Image: MOELETSI MABE

Gauteng has established multidisciplinary ward-based teams to deal with Covid-19 in the province.     

The new strategy is set to go beyond testing, tracing, isolation and quarantining, said premier David Makhura. 

“It will not be easy to cope by using the strategy we had earlier," he said while  addressing the Covid-19 command council on Friday. 

He announced that the province had recorded 3,329 infections, with 2,019 recoveries and 31 deaths.

Covid-19 screening in Gauteng as at May 28 2020.
Covid-19 screening in Gauteng as at May 28 2020.
Image: Gauteng government via Twitter

In the district breakdown, Makhura said Johannesburg remained the epicentre of the virus with 1,556 cases, followed by Ekurhuleni with 693 and Tshwane with 436 cases. He previously flagged Ekurhuleni as an emerging hotspot but said it had since been cleared.  

“Ekurhululeni is no longer the concern it was last week because of the containment measures we have put in place there.

“The key focus now is the West Rand  because of the jump in cases there in the past eight days."

He said a hotspot was defined as a district with five or more active cases per 100,000 population over 14 days.  

The teams, which comprise health workers and experts, community leaders and Cuban doctors, are set to educate, manage, and analyse Covid-19 trends, especially in densely populated areas, 

Makhura said the changing nature of hotpots meant new strategies were needed.  

“Because of the changing geography, and the new dynamics particularly, the hotspots in the townships and informal settlements need a very different approach. As a result of that, we have established ward-based teams."

As the country was set to move to level 3 of the lockdown regulations from June 1, Makhura said hotpots were expected to change.  

“As we move, every seven days we may have a new hotspot. Once an area is defined, it doesn’t mean it will remain a hotspot forever. It depends on the sorts of interventions that are there, and very successful interventions lead to containment in the area”  

Makhura said the teams would help with monitoring to ensure people maintained social distancing, put on masks and adhered to regulations in places of worship, shopping centres and spaza shops. 


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