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Gauteng’s health experts warn peak of COVID-19 outbreak not over yet

Gauteng has made significant progress with a steady decline in the number of new infections since the peak in June.

A professional healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) treats a patient in a tent dedicated to the treatment of possible COVID-19 coronavirus patients, while another cleans the ward at the Tshwane District Hospital in Pretoria on 10 July 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - As South Africans anticipate an announcement from President Cyril Ramaphosa on a possible move to level 2 lockdown, members of the Gauteng COVID-19 advisory committee on Thursday said the peak of the pandemic was not yet over.

Premier David Makhura delivered the province’s weekly COVID-19 update along with his team of experts.

Gauteng has made significant progress with a steady decline in the number of new infections since the peak in June.

The province is now sitting on 194,685 infections and 2,761 deaths.

Professor Bruce Mellado from Gauteng’s advisory committee said that considering the decline in the infection rate and the drop in the number of hotspots, the province was ready to relax the lockdown.

But Mellado also said it would be naive to think the peak of the pandemic had passed in the province.

“Unfortunately, that is not the case because the possibility of new surges is still there,” Mellado said.

The advisory committee said that the relaxation of the lockdown should be gradual.

The experts said that while level 2 of the lockdown was on the cards, it would not be advisable for services like schools to be completely opened.

There is no indication yet of the president addressing the nation on the matter.

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