Health workers fill out documents before performing tests for Covid-19 on other health workers at the screening and testing tents set up at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP/MICHELE SPATARI
Health workers fill out documents before performing tests for Covid-19 on other health workers at the screening and testing tents set up at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP/MICHELE SPATARI

All eyes are on Gauteng as it sees a dramatic rise in the number of Covid-19 infections‚ becoming the country's epicentre for this virus. In just two weeks‚ the number of infections has increased a staggering 283%.

Two weeks go‚ on June 25‚ Gauteng had 28‚746 cases. On Thursday‚ the province had 81‚546 cases — a 283% increase.

On June 25 it had 149 deaths and on Thursday 515 deaths — a 346% increase.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases’ modelling data‚ the number of deaths in Gauteng could potentially triple every two weeks.

A district breakdown of infections from Wednesday showed Johannesburg as the hotspot in Gauteng with 35‚040 infections.

Private and state hospitals in Gauteng are currently treating 2‚692 patients for Covid-19.

Two weeks ago‚ experts warned that Gauteng was in the eye of the Covid-19 storm. Healthcare workers and hospitals were stretched as cases surged. Provincial health MEC Bandile Masuku said the province's laboratories were overwhelmed and had a backlog of 30‚000 tests.

Masuku said the need for oxygen in the province had surged due to an increase in Covid-19 cases. He said the demand was due to high admissions of patients who were in critical condition, needing ventilators and oxygen.

Masuku said the province would seek to meet that demand by procuring more ventilators and oxygen, and by opening more isolation sites to accommodate more people.

On Tuesday‚ TimesLIVE reported that Mkhize said 300 more nurses would be moved to Gauteng to ease the pressure in intensive care units (ICU) and trauma units‚ which continue to be under pressure from cases of drunken driving‚ stab wounds and car accidents.

He also said that Gauteng Covid-19 cases were rising faster than those in all other provinces.

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