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City of Joburg aims to have over 70 COVID-19 testing sites

Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo said they would pay special attention to those showing symptoms.

FILE: Joburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo on Tuesday said officials were working to have more than 70 coronavirus testing sites in the city.

With over 1,600 cases in South Africa, concerns are mounting that the rate of infections could skyrocket.

It's a race against time as the country ramps up efforts to clamp down on the spread of COVID-19.

The World Health Organization has long advised that the most effective way to respond to the pandemic is to test as many suspected cases as possible.

Makhubo said they would pay special attention to those showing symptoms.

“In the Johannesburg area, we’ve got 21 testing sites - 14 are city facilities and nine are provincial facilities and we’re hoping to increase the number of our city clinics to 79 to be testing sites. Screening would happen and if you’re showing signs, you’ll get tested at a particular site.”

WATCH: Timeline: A month of coronavirus in SA

GAUTENG -THE EPICENTRE

Earlier on Tuesday, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said 15 coronavirus patients were currently being treated in the province's hospitals and two of them were on ventilators.

This province remains the epicentre of the pandemic on home soil, accounting for over 700 cases.

While one patient has died from the virus in Gauteng, Masuku said the majority had made full recoveries, including a patient who was in a critical condition just last month.

“There has been a very good recovery rate. A number of patients that we spoke about in the last three weeks who have been cleared of the virus and have been back to work or what they have been doing normally. We are confident that the majority of the patients we have are patients that have mild symptoms and some don’t even the symptoms.”

According to the latest figures, 13 people have died from the coronavirus in South Africa out of 1,749 cases.

Additional reporting by Mia Lindeque.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.