Friday 14th of August 2020

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Funerals, protests linked to rapid spread of COVID-19 in Gauteng

 (Fast Mail) -Funerals and protests continue to be a breeding ground for the spread of Coronavirus in Gauteng, says Premier David Makhura.


Speaking during the Gauteng Provincial Command Council update on Friday, the Premier said he was particularly worried about public gatherings. 


Gauteng, which is the country’s epicentre in terms of the number of infections, has 171 574 COVID-19 cases since the outbreak, even though the number of recoveries is also high.


Soweto is now the Gauteng’s hotspot and has overtaken the Inner City and Mayfair, followed by the Alexandra and Wynberg area.


“If you have a funeral at a hotspot, more people are likely to be infected,” said the Premier, noting that some residents continue to gather socially and host parties, which is prohibited by the regulations.


The Premier cited a time when infections in Soshanguve, Mabopane and Ga-Rankuwa were shooting up. “We traced it from one funeral [and another]… where over 1 000 people attended the funeral on 17 July (sic).”


Makhura said he was also concerned about public transport, which poses a threat ever since the economy opened.


While the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks of July have been decreasing, it is too early to celebrate, Makhura said.


In Ekurhuleni, which is home to Tembisa, and Diepsloot in Johannesburg, the rate of infections has been dropping.


“We’re still in the midst of the storm. We still need to take the necessary precautions,” the Premier said, urging citizens to take personal responsibility for their safety.


Makhura said the province has 400 ward-based teams out of 500, which consist of health workers, who are driving awareness campaigns.

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