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Gauteng wants return to hard lockdown

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Premier David Makhura said the provincial government was currently preparing for a peak in coronavirus infections.

The Gauteng provincial government is considering urging the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to reinstate some of the hard lockdown regulations as positive cases continue to escalate in the province.

On Thursday, Premier David Makhura said the provincial government was currently preparing for a peak in coronavirus infections.

“The Covid-19 storm has arrived in Gauteng, but it is within our power … it is quite clear that we are going to have to do some of the things that are extraordinary. Some of them may mean asking the NCCC to introduce some of the restrictions we have had in the earlier phases,” Makhura said.

With 45 944 confirmed cases by yesterday noon Makhura said the daily cases had increased to 3 000 people per day, hospitalisation and death rate increasing.

Gauteng also had the highest number, at 35 410, of the 83 308 active cases which has coincided with a significant drop in the number of recoveries.

Makhura said the increase in positive cases had been exponential over the last 14 days, with 144 of those who were hospitalised being placed on ventilators.

“Just a month ago we had only four people who were on ventilators. This is something very important to send out the message that the storm is here and we have to weather this storm here. The health services and our health workers are under pressure,” Makhura said.

He said the provincial executive council would be meeting this weekend where the issue of a harder lockdown would be discussed.

He slammed residents who continued to ignore stipulated preventative measures which saw massive infections in funerals in the province, adding that law enforcement alone would not help contain the spread of the virus.

“We think there is a case for localised harder lockdown in some of the areas where things are just getting out of hand and people are not observing any of the measures that have been put in place,”he said.

Makhura also indicated that he would also be consulting various political parties represented in the provincial legislature today, while consultations with economic sectors were also planned.