The latest data from Gauteng’s Department of Health confirms the province’s status as the coronavirus epicentre of South Africa.
As of 21 July, the province has reported a total of 136,789 confirmed cases, with recoveries currently standing at 68,348. Total deaths in the province stand at 999 – just one short of a grim milestone.
Notably, some areas in the province have reported a far higher number of cases than others, and two sub-districts that fall within the City of Johannesburg have recorded over 10,000 cases each.
The City of Johannesburg D, which includes Doornkop, Soweto, Dobosnnville and Protea Glen has reported 13,428 cases and 8,445 recoveries.
The City of Johannesburg F, which includes the inner city and Johannesburg South, have reported 10,825 cases and 6,623 recoveries.
Combined, these two sub-regions have reported almost as many cases (24,253) as the entirety of the City of Tshwane (25,021).
In an interview with News24, Gauteng Health spokesperson Kwara Kekana explained that the surge in these areas are due to their high density and physical distancing is ‘next to impossible’.
“People live in overcrowded rooms and conditions in informal settlements. There is also absolute non-adherence to existing control measures that include wearing of masks as well as hand washing pr use of hand sanitisers,” Kekana said.
Gauteng has overtaken the Western Cape as the province with the most cases, primarily because of its importance as an economic hub.
Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has previously explained that there are number of direct factors which are contributing to the surge, including:
- 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.
As of Tuesday (21 July), there are now a total of 381,798 cases of coronavirus in South Africa. This is an increase of 8,170 cases from the 373,628 infections reported on Monday.
195 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total to 5,368 casualties, following a 24-hour high of 216 casualties last Wednesday. A total of 208,144 recoveries have been reported to date.
A total of 2.54 million tests have been conducted, with 31,275 tests conducted over the previous 24 hours.
Since 31 December 2019 and as of 22 July, approximately 15.1 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported, including approximately 619,000 deaths, and around 9.1 million recoveries.
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