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Johannesburg – Professor Koleka Mlisana, co-chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Covid-19, says the Gauteng province failed to adequately prepare for the third wave.
Mlisana, who was speaking on national television, said when there was still time to prepare, the provincial government did not do so.
“Government did not adequately prepare, despite warnings from the advisory committees. This is a failure by the provincial department of health as it did not prepare when it should have. We are in a serious crisis if you're looking at the numbers,” Mlisana said.
According to the latest report from the National Institute For Communicable Diseases (NICD) nearly 17,500 Covid-19 cases were recorded in SA in the past 24 hours, with Gauteng recording a provincial high of 10,806 of the new infections.
The 17,493 cases — at a positivity rate of 24.9% — is the highest single-day increase in cases since January 14, when 8,503 infections were recorded. There have now been 1,861,065 cumulative infections recorded to date.
#COVID19 UPDATE: A total of 70,186 tests were conducted in the last 24 hrs, with 17,493 new cases, which represents a 24.9% positivity rate. A further 166 #COVID19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 59,258 to date. Read more: https://t.co/T9UNz3YpK6 pic.twitter.com/ZGvhXFOA1L
— NICD (@nicd_sa) June 23, 2021
The institute's head of public health surveillance and response division, Dr Michelle Groome, said that the daily numbers in Gauteng “are exceeding those seen during the previous two waves”.
Mlisana also said the other big crisis the province was facing was how to increase hospital beds in the province.
“As MAC, we have been saying we need to get field hospitals ready. Now the question is, when is that going to happen? When are we going to see extra beds for Gauteng and that is causing a lot of anxiety to us as a committee. We need to get that done, it should have been done last week,” she said.