As of Friday, 26 June, the cumulative number of healthcare workers in the Gauteng public health system that have tested positive for Covid-19 is 709, the health department revealed.
Statistics show that this is an increase of more than 50 from the previous day, which was 650 healthcare workers in the public sector.
In the private sector, 905 healthcare workers had tested positive for Covid-19 as of Friday, 26 June. This was an increase of eight from the previous day.
On Monday, the province had recorded 36 895 cases, with 9 738 recoveries and 174 deaths.
In addition, the Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize warned on Sunday night that, within the coming days, Gauteng “will emerge with the highest Covid-19 numbers”.
“Factors contributing to this trend are inward migration, the largest population (especially in metros like Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane), increased congregating, which spurs cluster outbreaks, and the level to which people are able to adapt to new behaviours, such as social distancing and the wearing of masks,” he said.
On Monday, the City of Johannesburg recorded the highest number, with 18 006 cases and 5 458 recoveries, followed by Ekurhuleni with 7 810 cases and 2 151 recoveries, and Tshwane with 5 769 cases and 1 314 recoveries.
In addition, Sedibeng recorded 1 333 cases with 135 recoveries, while West Rand recorded 2 375 cases with 680 recoveries.
A total of 1 602 cases are still unallocated.
Spike is worrying – Nehawu
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) said the spike in cases in Gauteng was worrying.
“The fact that there were 14 388 new Covid-19 cases recorded in Gauteng in 11 days, between 11 and 22 June, points to a worrying trend,” Gauteng provincial secretary Tshepo Mokheranyana said.
The union has further expressed concern over the number of healthcare workers contracting Covid-19 in the province.
“[This] is equally worrying as these workers also require psycho-social support. There are too many instances where workers are forced to engage in an unnecessary debate on whether it is appropriate for contacts to continue reporting for duty or to isolate at home,” he added.
As a result, the union has called on the department to intensify Covid-19 training of healthcare workers, and to ensure that workers are knowledgeable about Covid-19 and the World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols.
“There must be strict adherence to WHO protocols, Department of Public Service Administration and Department of Employment and Labour directives relating to the management of Covid-19 cases and contacts in the workplace.
“We should strive to avoid a surge in Covid-19 cases by getting all stakeholders to work together,” he concluded.