Gauteng’s Deafening Silence on Readiness to Face Our Own 2nd Wave

Today I have written to Gauteng Premier, David Makhura to question the level of readiness of the province to deal with its own 2nd wave of infections.

Despite Gauteng having relatively modest infection numbers over the past few weeks, experts are clear that the return of many travellers back into the Province in January will cause a spike of infections. Already I am informed that hospitals in the City of Johannesburg are either full to capacity or approaching their limits. This factor, along with the highly populated nature of Gauteng, suggest that we may face a level of infections that would far exceed any other province in the country, resulting in a healthcare crisis.

It is alarming that in the face of regular national government communication, our Gauteng Provincial Government and Metros are largely silent on measures taken to ready the Province.

Specifically, the questions for which I have sought answers from the Premier include:

  1. How many additional hospital beds have been made available to respond to the latest projected spike in infections in the Province?
  2. What arrangements have been made with private healthcare facilities in the event that public healthcare facilities are overwhelmed?
  3. Have all graduated medical doctors undergoing their internship years been allocated to bolster capacity in this critical time?
  4. How many additional ventilators and oxygen tanks has the Province acquired in its efforts to respond to the spike of infections projected for later in January?
  5. What coordination is taking place with Gauteng’s Metros to enlist their efforts in respect of the above interventions? 

There is no question that to save every citizen’s life, all spheres of government will need to contribute significantly to addressing capacity requirements. This is why the relative silence by the Provincial Government and Metro Councils is deeply concerning.

ActionSA will now be allocating personnel to monitor all clinics and hospitals in the Province, by engaging with patients and medical professionals to assess the critical questions of capacity and equipment.

We continue to plead with all Gauteng residents to appreciate the severity of the pandemic, especially over the next few weeks, and for every possible preventative measure to be taken to safeguard the lives of our loved ones, neighbours and co-workers.