Johannesburg – Gauteng Premier David Makhura said they were worried Ekurhuleni was becoming the hotspot for Covid-19 in the province.
Speaking on Thursday during an update by the Gauteng Provincial Command Council, Makhura said while Joburg was stabilising, Ekurhuleni was reporting new infections.
By Wednesday, Ekurhuleni infections stood at 549.
As a result, Makhura said, the province was directing efforts of containing the spread of the virus to Ekurhuleni as it is now a red district with many new infections.
Makhura also said they were ramping up their contact tracing process to ensure they contained the spread of Covid-19, especially in the townships.
With 27 people dead from the virus, the province accounted for 8% of the total deaths due to Covid-19 in the country.
So far, he said, there were 2 400 people infected with the virus in the province while there were 1 729 recoveries.
Makhura said when it came to tracing the people who had been in contact with those that tested positive for Covid-19, they were at 90%.
He said when there was a report of someone who tested positive for the virus, the first issue of interest to them was to know where the person was from, who they had interacted with, conditions they were under and whether they needed to be quarantined at home or at the province’s facilities.
“Now that the pandemic is going into townships, we have been putting those who have been in contact with those with Covid-19 and may not self-isolate at home in our quarantine facilities.
“You can’t have someone who has been with someone who tested positive left in a community where they’ll be interacting with others. We take them and isolate them to ensure they have not been infected. They need to be taken out of those communities and put in facilities we have set up.
“Contract tracing is very important in containing the virus,” he said.
With regards to the issues to Personal Protective Equipment, Makhura said their stock was at 11.4 million and that they were continuing to order more.
He said they were anticipating a tough road and needed to ensure that front-line workers were protected.
Regarding the wearing of masks in public, Makhura said police officers could not ensure that people wore them as it was not their duty to change people’s behaviour.
“People need to take responsibility in flattening the curve. We call on communities to work with us street by street to ensure that there is compliance,” he said.