Gauteng records 78% COVID-19 recovery rate

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Gauteng has recorded a 78% recovery rate in the number of people infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the past week. The number of daily infections has also decreased.

Premier David Makhura revealed this at the weekly Provincial Command Council briefing on COVID-19 in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Over 194 000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Gauteng. More than 152 000 of them have recovered.

Over 2 700 patients have died in Gauteng.

While it’s being reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa has been advised to open up the economy and ease lockdown regulations, Makhura has urged residents to continue with measures to protect themselves from the virus.

“Whatever decisions are taken by the National Command Council, here in Gauteng, we must say we’re still a highly vulnerable province. A high density of people, a lot of people live side by side together, the transport mode brings lots of people together; the vulnerability and risk profile of our province is very high. Even when the numbers are slower, we must be more cautious because we don’t want a second wave that is more brutal.”

Easing of lockdown

Member of the Premier’s Advisory Committee, Professor Bruce Mellado says the province has been able to handle the surge in infections under the current lockdown level and can afford the relaxation of lockdown regulations, provided that is done gradually.

“Given the success of controlling the first surge and hotspots, we’re now in a position to relax the lockdown. Clearly, there are different scenarios; the relaxation of the lockdown is a complex matter. From the mathematical standpoint and also based on experience from other countries, it is very clear that whatever happens, whatever relations take place or whatever configuration of the relaxation takes place; there be performed gradually in a phased way.”

Lifting of ban on sale of alcohol, cigarettes

Premier Makhura declined to comment on calls for the lifting of bans on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes. He, however, expressed concern over the state of the economy and how it’s impacting on people’s livelihoods.

Makhura spoke of the need to strike a good balance between saving lives and saving the economy.

He says Gauteng will support a risk-adjusted approach and has urged residents to continue with measures to protect themselves from the virus.

COVID-19 impact on communities

Speaking about people who are more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, Researcher at the Gauteng City Region Observatory, Gillain Maree says the impact of the pandemic will be felt differently among various communities.

She says poor communities and those living in crowded areas remain more vulnerable.

“We’ve looked at where communities have shared sanitation and where people don’t have access to electronic communication, amongst a range of other factors. So here the map does show you that suburban richer northern suburbs have a far lower risk and is far much easier for them to be able to maintain social distance. And some of the real challenges that we noted at the beginning, we’d be particularly for communities in informal settlements on the peripheral area, as well as notably people who live in high dense settlements in our CBDs as well.”

Gauteng Provincial Command Council gives an update on COVID-19 in the province: 

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