Covid-19 testing figures in the densely populated province of Gauteng is sitting at 92,272, which is the highest number of tests conducted in the country.
Premier David Makhura said at a briefing on Thursday that the province’s “testing is targeted, we are not doing it indiscriminately, and we are looking at vulnerable communities”.
“We will be using our dashboard [to see] where the heat is, but we are focusing on getting to a point where we do 3,000 tests a day in targeted areas, hotspots and sectors of the economy where there is high risk,” added Makhura.
Makhura detailed the province’s comprehensive health response to the pandemic in a weekly update.
As of Thursday, 7 May, the province had 1,720 cases, with 1,053 recoveries, and 15 deaths.
Of the positive cases in the province, 61% of people who tested positive since the first case on 5 March have recovered, while 667 cases are still active.
Of the 15 deaths, seven are in Johannesburg, five in Ekurhuleni, one in Tshwane and two in the West Rand.
Johannesburg remains the epicentre of the virus, with 979 cases, followed by Ekurhuleni with 370 and Tshwane with 235 cases.
Some other districts are as follows: Sedibeng, 21 and West Rand, 51.
There are also 64 cases which are currently unallocated.
“Covid-19 hotspots are not standing; what may have been a hotspot three weeks ago may no longer be a hotspot, due to recoveries, and there may be a new area,” Makhura said.
Seventy patients are hospitalised in private and public healthcare facilities in the province – 46 in private care and 24 public.
In addition, eight of those patients are in intensive care in a private facility.
“Our clinicians emphasise that early interventions are important (oxygenation, fluid supportive treatment, prone position and blood thinning),” said Makhura.
Makhura said a further 1,600 beds are being created in existing hospitals in preparation for the next phase of the pandemic.
He said 300 ICU beds will be added at the Dr George Mukhari cluster, 500 at Chris Hani Baragwanath and 200 at Ashanti Gold Hospital. All are expected to be ready by the end of July.
Lastly, while the province has a stock of approximately 10.4 million personal protective equipment, an additional order of 63 million has been made.
“What we have now will help us deal with the hospitalisation at the moment. The road ahead is something we do not know, so we are preparing for the next phase of the progression of the pandemic,” Makhura said.