Gauteng gets more beds, healthcare workers as it gears up to enter 'eye of the Covid-19 storm'

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Gauteng has warned that the second wave of Covid-19 will be more severe.
Gauteng has warned that the second wave of Covid-19 will be more severe.
Michele Spatari / AFP
  • Gauteng has 50 000 active cases.
  • The Provincial Coronavirus Command Council says had it not been for adjusted Level 3 the province would have had 85 000 cases.
  • The province has the second highest number of cases after KwaZulu-Natal.

Had it not been for the adjusted Level 3 restriction, Gauteng would have seen around 35 000 more active cases than what it currently has. 

This according to Professor Bruce Mellado from the Gauteng Provincial Coronavirus Command Council who gave a presentation during a briefing by Premier David Makhura on the latest Covid-19 statistics on Monday. The briefing came the day after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the country would remain on adjusted Level 3.

"Had that adjusted Level 3 not been reinstated, the number of cases would have been significantly higher. We now have sufficient data that indicate the Level 3 restrictions have certainly slowed down the pandemic," said Mellado. 

READ | Covid-19: Children younger than six now no longer have to wear masks

He added modelling projections indicated the province, which has 50 000 active cases, would have had about 85 000 without the regulations.

During the briefing, Makhura said the province was more prepared in terms of nursing and staffing capacity then it was in the first wave but warned it was about to enter the "eye of the storm" with the second wave. 

Highest

Already the province, which has the second-highest number of active cases, has recorded its highest number of daily infections which was greater than the highest number of daily cases during the peak of the first wave in July. 

"Anyone who says we are less ready for the second wave then for the first wave … is not accurate about their assessment. Firstly, with regards to the number of beds, we have more beds. Secondly, with regards to staff, we have more staff. We have better capacity at the moment to face the second wave then we had in the first wave.

READ | 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines are coming, says Ramaphosa

"Although we have doubled the capacity of what we had in the first wave [and] given what the indications are, the second wave is going to be more [severe] in all indicators.

"Having had so many people return to our province [and] … given the nature of the new variant and the intensity of the second wave, we are expecting that we are going to shoot through the roof [in numbers]," said Makhura.

He added by the end of January, the province would have added 525 more beds to the existing 4 344.

Makhura said the province had seen an increase in the number of infected healthcare workers and law enforcement.

The police have reported that more officers have contracted Covid-19 in the last two weeks. This was the same with healthcare workers in the past seven days and in the run-up to Christmas.

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