Gauteng’s Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku says that the number of coronavirus cases in the province will increase dramatically over the next few months, exceeding 120,000 cases by the end of July.
In an interview with News24, Masuku said that the province will likely only reach a ‘peak’ sometime in September.
“Our predictions tell us that we will be reaching 120,000 cases by the end of July. We will be getting closer to 250,000 to 300,000 by August – (and in) September, which is expected to be the peak, we will be having more than that.
“September will not be much different than what August will be except that we will be having them at a consistent pace and at a longer period.”
The province hit a milestone of 40,000 coronavirus infections this week, counting 42,881 cases as of Wednesday (1 July).
Total recoveries in the province now sit at 10,534, while deaths have climbed to 216. A total of 2,981 people are currently hospitalised in either public or private facilities.
Looking at the data from a district level, the City of Johannesburg has reported the most cases (20,918 cases), followed by Ekurhuleni (9,192) and Tshwane (6,659).
On Sunday (28 June), health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said that the entire country is likely to see an increase in cases, with economic hubs the hardest hit.
He added that Gauteng will emerge as the province with the highest Covid-19 numbers.
Mkhize said that the factors contributing to this trend are:
- Inward migration;
- The large population (especially in metros like Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane);
- Increased congregating which spurs cluster outbreaks;
- The level to which people are able to adapt to new behaviours such as social distancing and the wearing of masks.
The provincial government has indicated that the province could see a stricter lockdown imposed as infections surge. However, minister Mkhize noted that no discussions have taken place at a national level as of yet.
“There has not been any decision taken (to have another hard lockdown) and certainly the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) does not take lightly a decision of that nature,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.