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No hard lockdown for Gauteng …

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..., but concern over health workers getting infected with Covid.

Gauteng MEC for health Dr Bandile Masuku visited the Nasrec quarantine/isolation site earlier this week. Pictures: Nokuthula Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg – Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku has expressed concern over health workers in the province getting infected in the community. 

As of Sunday, Gauteng has more than 63 000 Covid-19 infections since March, among them, there are over 350 deaths and just over 16 800 recoveries. 

Masuku, who was speaking on Talk Radio 702, said they were concerned that health workers in the province were not being infected by patients, but instead they were being infected in the community. 

The Health MEC said cases in the province had surged because of an increased rate of community transmissions – citing interprovincial travel, schools reopening and businesses reopening as reasons.

This comes as minibus taxi operators continue to operate at 100% capacity, against the regulations which call for minibus taxis to a maximum capacity of 70% during level three of the lockdown. 

Quizzed about plans to isolate health workers away from their communities as a means to decrease potential risk of infection to families and during commuting, Masuku said options were being explored and implemented at the district level. 

Masuku also said there were no plans for the Gauteng province to return to a strict level five lockdown, but he did say the provincial government was in discussion with the national government about how to implement regulations in a stricter fashion. 

“We would not want to return to hard lockdown because of the economic implications. We want to apply actions without having devastating consequences to the economy,” he said.  

On the province’s readiness for the peak, Masuku said the modelling for the virus showed that there would be some gaps in the system by July and that the government would have to mitigate against that. 

He also said a majority of the cases in Gauteng were mild and did not require hospitalization.

“The plan we are implementing, we spent the first two months of the response putting plans into motion. We are implementing what we have planned, we are adopting and implementing as quickly as possible by using existing modelling,” he said.

IOL 

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL’s special #Coronavirus page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za