Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, has said that Gauteng being the epicenter is not a surprise and that he was expecting it to happen months ago already due to the large population size. Gauteng is now officially the country's epicenter of the coronavirus.
Mkhize said that Covid-19 is a bigger problem now than it was at the beginning of the lockdown and that the lockdown couldn’t stop transmissions from person to person. He commented further and said, "Numbers will increase as people are moving more freely now. It gave us as much benefit as it could. The surge is coming as expected. It is happening at a lower rate than what was predicted."
During a visit to Tshwane District Hospital where they assessed the state of preparedness, Mkhize said, "Our biggest challenges is that there are too many people who are asymptotic and they continue to move around without knowing they are infected".
Gauteng Health MEC, Bandile Masuku, while giving an update on the outbreak in the province said that Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane have the bulk of cases. Gauteng's Premier, David Makhura, was not present at the briefing as the announcement came that he tested positive.
Johanesburg does have the most cases but the province is, "seeing recoveries and most of active cases are people with mild symptoms and asymptomatic cases".
Gauteng has the highest number of active cases in the country at a total of 54,593. As of 9 July, Gauteng has a total number of 81 546 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 26 438 recoveries and 515 deaths.
Masuku stated that the individuals who have passed due to Covid-19 had pre-existing conditions with the most common being hypertension and diabetes. He also said, "Early interventions are important such as oxygenation are important to prevent mortality. We are feeling the pressure but we are in a place to cater for all patients who require assistance".
It was also reported that from 172,000 public servants, 2630 have tested positive which includes healthcare workers and educators.