Gauteng hits grim Covid-19 landmark as Mkhize says all 52 districts are now hotspots

Gauteng has surpassed 100,000 Covid-19 infections, reaching 103,713 infections data from Monday showed, making up 36% of the country’s total of 287,796 cases.

Health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize also announced a further 93 Covid-19-related deaths, taking the total number of deaths to 4,172 to date.

The Western Cape, with 79,344 infections (27.6%), is second for the number of infections, while accounting for the most deaths – 2,385, and 59,492 recoveries. The Eastern Cape has the second highest number of deaths – 709, with 32,083 recoveries. Gauteng has 644 deaths to date, and 33,514 recoveries.

While Gauteng has the most infections, Dr Mkhize said on Tuesday that KwaZulu-Natal now has more new infections per day.

“That was the original projection that Gauteng is going to have the highest surge, followed by KwaZulu-Natal and then Western Cape and Eastern Cape.”

The Western Cape peak was previously the epicentre for almost two months.

“At some point, every person who was Covid-19 positive in the country was in the Western Cape. That figure is down now by 40%. It’s not that Western Cape infections are not increasing, it’s just that the other provinces have now taken over,” said Mkhize.

The minister said that while Gauteng has one of the lowest mortality rates since the outbreak, “these numbers are going to pick up,” he warned.

The province saw 5,284 new infections over a 24-hour period, led by Johannesburg, with 1,937 new cases, and Ekurhuleni, with 1,408 new cases.

The province currently has 5,585 patients hospitalised in both public and private facilities.

The sub district with the most infections is the City of Johannesburg D which includes Doornkop, Soweto, Dobsonville, and Protea Glen. This area has an accumulated 10,483 total cases, and 5,030 recoveries to date.

District approach

In May, the government said it would move away from a “one-size-fits-all” lockdown approach, instead identifying those districts considered hotspots.

Hotspots are identified based on the number of active case per 100,000. “Depending on the average active cases per 100,000 people, districts will be individually assigned levels of lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus,” Mkhize said at the time.

South Africa has 52 districts in all nine provinces in the country, and initially 10 were identified as being hotspots, including those in the Western Cape:

  • City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality
  • West Coast
  • Cape Winelands
  • Overberg
  • Eden
  • Central Karoo

And those in Gauteng:

  • City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality
  • Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality
  • City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality
  • Sedibeng
  • Metsweding
  • West Rand

Dr Mkhize said on Monday, that what president Ramaphosa announced on Sunday, is culmination of numerous engagements. “As it stands now, all 52 districts in South Africa can be considered hotspots, based on our initial definitions.”

This, he said, is indicative of the virus’ seriousness.

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Gauteng hits grim Covid-19 landmark as Mkhize says all 52 districts are now hotspots