NATIONAL NEWS - The provincial Gauteng health department on Friday warned the province was continuing to see a spike in new Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations which are starting to put pressure on healthcare facilities.
Gauteng is firmly in the grips of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announcing on Thursday South Africa has technically entered the third wave of the pandemic.
On Thursday, Gauteng registered 5,597 new Covid-19 cases with a staggering 24,043 cases identified in the seven days from 4 to 10 June 2021. This is a 64% increase from the previous week which averaged 3,569 cases a day.
In its weekly Covid-19 media update, the provincial government also sounded a warning about the growing number of children at schools in Gauteng testing positive for Covid-19.
More than 1000 children at Gauteng public schools have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past week.
“While there are no plans to close schools just yet, the government is monitoring the situation and will be guided by expert advice,” the provincial health department said.
Large social gatherings where people do not observe non-pharmaceutical interventions like wearing face masks, sanitising, washing hands and physical distancing have been attributed to the surge in Covid cases.
At its last media briefing last week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said the third wave was peaking slower than the first two and officials don’t know when it will end.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Gauteng since the pandemic hit in March 2020 stands at 489,711, with 447,702 recoveries and 11,573 related deaths.
Total active cases as of Thursday were 30,436 and tests were conducted 3,907,975 people.
According to the provincial breakdown of new cases per district, Johannesburg had 2,157 cases, Ekurhuleni 1,035, Tshwane 1,612, Sedibeng 237 and West Rand 533.
Unallocated new cases were 23. Unallocated cases refer to confirmed cases in Gauteng yet to be allocated to one of the five districts in the province.
The cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane continue to account for the highest Covid-19 cases in total, with 192,019 and 130,034 respectively.
A total number of 3,575 people are hospitalised in public and private facilities across Gauteng.
Currently, 3,575 patients are in hospital of which 1,085 are in ICU and high care and 2,490 in general wards.
Since the start of the government’s Phase 2 Covid-19 vaccine rollout, 285,928 vaccines have been administered in Gauteng, with 221,934 residents over the age of 60 and 63,994 healthcare workers vaccinated.
A total of 526,012 people have registered on the government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System. The provincial government urged more residents who are 60 years and older to register for vaccinations.