Masuku: Gauteng now has almost 8,700 ICU beds for COVID-19 patients

Gauteng accounts for 13% of the country's total number of over 55,000 cases.

FILE: The Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku with teams of field workers in Ekurhuleni District, Glen Marikana Informal settlement to form part of the screening and testing campaign aimed to combat the spread of COVID-19 on 17 April 2020. Pictures: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku on Thursday said the province now had almost 8,700 intensive care unit (ICU) beds available for COVID-19 patients as it waited for infections to peak.

Gauteng accounts for 13% of the country's total number of over 55,000 cases.

To date, 57 people have died in the province after contracting the virus.

Masuku said the aim was to double the number of beds currently available.

“We are looking at getting to a point where we’ve got almost 15,000 beds, which would be multipurpose and multiuse.”

Meanwhile, the Gauteng Department of Health said Masuku had not contracted COVID-19 despite two of his close colleagues being infected.

The two officials, Masuku's spokesperson Kwara Kekana and a colleague Julius Maputla, are now in self-isolation at home.

The provincial office where the two were working from has already been disinfected.

The department's Motalatale Modiba said the MEC tested five times for COVID-19 and all those tests came back negative.

“We want to continue emphasising to members of the community to continue applying safety protocols and must wear their face masks.”