While Gauteng has passed the peak of the Covid-19 third wave, Premier David Makhura has warned that the province’s infections still remain a cause of concern.
“I want to repeat that our province has reached a peak, but this is slow peaking,” Makhura said.
“We’re not out of the woods yet and we still want to emphasise the combination of measures, which include the health protocols and stepping up the vaccination programme is something that would really help us a great deal.”
The premier was speaking at a briefing on Friday morning on the provincial government’s response to the pandemic and economic recovery efforts after this month’s civil recent unrest in the province and KwaZulu-Natal.
Makhura reiterated that the unrest that saw thousands of people loot and vandalise shopping malls, could result in an uptick in Gauteng’s daily reported Covid-19 infections.
“We did say given the unrest and interactions that happened among people during that period, we are concerned that out of that there are going to be infections that might have happened because people interacted a lot,” he said.
Makhura said the province’s positive rate was going down as well as hospital admissions, but Covid-related deaths remained high.
“We are still worried that the 23% [positivety rate] is extremely high. The number of hospital admissions are also coming down and we still have more than 7,000 people in hospitals, that is still a lot.”
The premier said during the first and second wave of infections, more healthcare workers in the province contracted the virus.
However, during the third wave, this was not the case because most healthcare workers had already received their Covid-19 jabs.
“There is a real difference that the vaccines have already made. That’s very positive for us on the number of healthcare workers who were able to remain on the post and do this amazing work,” he said.
Makhura said going forward, his administration would focus on ramping up the province’s vaccination drive.
“We have set ourselves the target of 100,000 vaccinations a day. We have been doing between 53,000 and 58,000 vaccination a day. On a good day like last week Wednesday, we did 61,000 vaccinations a day.”
He said inoculations would be doubled at every site vaccination site while also increasing the number of sites.
“In July alone, we did one million vaccinations… from August going into September, we are going to be opening a lot of vaccination sites in partnership with the religious and private sector.”