On Wednesday, March 25, the Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced plans and interventions to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province, which has the highest number of confirmed cases.
Premier Makhura said the province had adopted multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach which will proactively involve significant actors within the province to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
These plans include the establishment of a multi-sectoral coordination at both Provincial and District levels for COVID-19 preparedness and response; and strengthening capacity to undertake surveillance for COVID-19 at Provincial and District levels, including the training of 259 contact tracers.
“Following the declaration of the national disaster, on Monday, 16 March 2020, we convened a special meeting of the Executive Council – with mayors from Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, West Rand and Sedibeng municipalities in attendance – to discuss a comprehensive response by the province including how we will enforce all measures announced by the President,” said Makhura.
The following constitutes elements of the implementation plan for Gauteng in enforcing the measures as outlined by the President Cyril Ramaphosa:
- Enhancing capacity of emergency medical services to respond to reported cases;
- Establishing and maintaining screening capacity at key points of entry;
- Continuously informing the public on the public health risks of coronavirus;
- Establishing a war room that will do routine monitoring, evaluation and surveillance using multiple approaches, systems and technologies;
- All hospitals in the province have been directed to create isolation areas for suspected and probable COVID-19 cases, in line with the district management approach.
About 9000 community healthcare workers will be trained as contact tracers, who are currently doing tracing of patients with TB and HIV/AIDS.
The Department of Health is procuring 10 000 test kits over and above what the NICD is already providing to better prepare, should the pandemic persist.
“We also urge residents to utilise online platforms to transact with government, including for the payment of services. A task team on Labour led by MEC Mamabolo, Director General, Ms Phindile Baleni and labour representative has met and engaged Labour on the DPSA Circular with regards to public service,” said Makhura.
Gauteng province has three COVID-19 designated hospitals – Charlotte Maxeke Academic, Steve Biko Academic as well as Tembisa Tertiary – for appropriate treatment of confirmed cases.