Gauteng is quickly becoming South Africa’s coronavirus hotspot

Gauteng’s infections have almost doubled, from 17,261 to 31,344 and the province now faces a major increase in fatalities, the Sunday Times reports.

Citing modelling data from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the paper said that Gauteng’s fatalities — which reached 149 on Friday — could potentially triple every two weeks.

Commenting on the data,Wits University health economist, professor Alex van den Heever, said Gauteng will reach the Western Cape’s 24-hour death figure – around 50 deaths a day – within the next two weeks.

He further cautioned that while Gauteng might have a smaller number of cases overall, at 1,500 daily infections, its new cases now exceed the 1,400 daily infections in the Western Cape.

This was reiterated by Wits Univesity vaccinologist professor Shabir Madhi, who told the Sunday Times that within three weeks, Gauteng will match the Western Cape’s current case numbers.

There are also concerns that the province is not as well prepared for an influx in coronavirus cases as the Western Cape is. There are five quarantine sites in the province, while no field hospitals have been built and the shortage of beds is expected to reach 5,000 in two weeks.

Record day

On Saturday (27 June), South Africa recorded a 24-hour record of 7,210 new cases, bringing total reported cases in the country to 131,800.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize also announced 73 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total up to 2,413, and a mortality rate of 1.8%.

Recoveries across the country increased to 67,094 which translates to a recovery rate of 50.9%.

A total of 1.52 million tests have been conducted to date, with 35,905 tests conducted over the past 24 hours, Dr Mkhize said.

Province Total cases Percentage
Western Cape 59 315 45.0%
Gauteng 34 285 26.0%
Eastern Cape 23 658 17.9%
KZN 7 786 5.9%
North West 3 454 2.6%
Free State 1 160 0.9%
Mpumalanga 925 0.7%
Limpopo 862 0.7%
Northern Cape 355 0.3%
Unknown 0 0.0%

Data published in a report from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) projects that South Africa could have 300,000 additional coronavirus cases within the next three weeks – and deaths could triple.

The NICD published projections by the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium (SACMC) on June 12. The model projects that if testing patterns remain unchanged there may be more than 408,000 detected cases by mid-July.

The cumulative number of deaths by mid-July is expected to be 7,440 (with the forecast range of 3,610 to 14,000).

Gauteng and the Western Cape’s hotspots

The Western Cape still accounts for just under half of reported cases (45%) in the country.

The City of Cape Town accounts for more than 44,697 total infections as of 26 June, with Tygerberg, Khayelitsha and Klipfontein making up more than half of that total.

Tygerberg (7,785 cases) is currently the hardest-hit district in the city, followed by Khayelitsha (6,389 cases).

The Western Cape’s data from 26 June shows the areas with the most cases.

As at 26 June 2020, Gauteng has reported 31,344 coronavirus cases, with 7,712 recoveries and 149 deaths.

The latest available regional data shows that the City of Johannesburg accounts for the biggest portion of cases in the province (15,363).

This is followed by the City of Ekurhuleni (6,563 cases), and the City of Tshwane (4,816 cases).

The sub-district with has reported the most cases is CoJ F, which comprises of Johannesburg South and the inner-city. This is followed by CoJ D, which comprises of Doornkop, Soweto, Dobsonville and Protea Glen.

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Gauteng is quickly becoming South Africa’s coronavirus hotspot