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Gauteng in the right track, but has to speed up virus test results – DA

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Jack Bloom

Gauteng in the right track, but has to speed up virus test results – DA

Poor handling and collection of crucial data would render the province unprepared when the peak hits in about June, Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom says.

Gauteng may be leading the fight against Covid-19 in terms of preparedness, opposition parties suggest.

But concerns over the swift collection of data threatened to undermine progress made in increasing the rate of testing in two of the most beleaguered provinces in the coronavirus pandemic.

Democratic Alliance (DA) MPL and Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said the province had made positive strides in preparing for the expected peak of Covid-19 cases, although concerns around testing remained.

“The main thing with Gauteng is we don’t know what the real picture is when it comes to testing results which are so delayed.

“We cannot get an active picture of what is really going on until we start to see more results,” said Bloom.

According to the latest statistics from the Gauteng health department, the province still had the second-highest number of cases.

With at least 8,000 extra beds in health facilities across the province, government was making good on its promise to increase capacity, Bloom said, but poor handling and collection of crucial data would render the province unprepared when the peak hit in about June.

“The big mystery in Gauteng – and I have sent questions which hopefully will be answered this week – is that there are 127,000 tests that have been done so far, but how many of those tests actually have results out so far?

“There is a big difference between how many tests have been done and how many of those tests we have the results of. We are averaging about 4,000 tests per day … and we should be at about 10,000 tests per day if we were going at a fast enough rate.”

He said the Western Cape, where the most cases were currently being reported, had the unique challenge of having a high number of international visitors, which may be behind the sudden spike in positive test results.

-IOL

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