By Kaya 959 News
Gauteng has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Professor Cheryl Cohen of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases says according to their weekly epidemiology brief set to be released on Friday, Gauteng has 424, 326 cases with KwaZulu-Natal on 336 732 cases.
“For the last week, Gauteng has had the highest new cases. When interpreting numbers it is important to consider the population of the province being discussed. Gauteng province has a greater population than KZN,” she explains.
Gauteng Premier David Makura said they are concerned about the increase in cases. He says in the past two weeks, there has been an increase of cases in Emfuleni, Tshwane 3 and Johannesburg D.
“The department urges all people in the province to do their part to contain transmission of the virus by adhering to preventative measures of; social distancing, wearing of masks and hand hygiene.”
He says the province will continue to monitor adherence to COVID-19 measures in communities, schools, workplaces and public transport.
Calls for vaccine registration expansion
Meanwhile, the DA’s health spokesperson Jack Bloom, has urged the MEC to rapidly expand its COVID-19 vaccination registration.
He says according to the latest census figures, there are about 1.3 million people over 60 years old in Gauteng, but fewer than 200 000 (15%) have so far registered for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout which is due to start in two weeks time on 17 May.
“I am also concerned about insufficient preparations for the rollout at many of the vaccination centres run by the provincial health department and by local government clinics. I am even more concerned that people will die when it is possible to prevent this through proper planning and delivery,” he said.
— Gauteng Health (@GautengHealth) May 3, 2021
Bloom says when he visited the Jeppestown clinic last week there was only a printed notice on a tree outside which informed people that they could register there for vaccinations if they were over 60.
“I was informed that the vaccinations would not be done at the clinic but at the nearby Bertha Solomon recreation centre hall, but no preparations whatsoever had been done at this venue,” he says.
He adds that the Alexandra Community Health Centre was better prepared but did not have enough staff to speedily vaccinate the 22, 000 eligible people in their area.
“They plan to have four vaccinators at their centre, and a similar number at two satellite centres, which probably means they can do fewer than 2000 vaccinations a week.”
Health officials deny DA’s claims
Bloom called on the Gauteng Health Department to run aggressive outreach programmes to ensure that far more people are registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS), with special assistance to elderly people who may not have smartphones.
“Every effort should be made to vaccinate all vulnerable people as soon as possible ahead of a possible mid-winter third wave of Covid-19 cases,” he says.
The department has denied Bloom’s claims adding that there was no problem with the vaccine drive.