NEWS & ANALYSIS

Is Gauteng underestimating Covid-19 infections? - Jack Bloom

DA MPL says recorded active infections in province have come down dramatically

Is Gauteng underestimating Covid-19 infections?

11 November 2020

The recorded active COVID-19 infections in Gauteng have come down dramatically from 15 402 a week ago to 1984 cases now, but there are still 1858 patients in Gauteng hospitals with this disease according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

This can be compared to the Western Cape which has 4577 recorded active cases but only 625 COVID-19 patients in hospital.

It can normally be expected that 10-20% of COVID-19 cases would end up hospital, which is what we see in the Western Cape, but in Gauteng nearly all the recorded cases are hospitalized.

Previously in this epidemic the Gauteng hospital figures were in the range of 10-20% of total active cases, so there is evidence of a huge undercount of current infections.

According to the National Department of Health, there has been a total of 230 559 COVID-19 infections in Gauteng, with 4870 deaths and 223 705 recoveries, which means a recovery rate of 97%.

The Gauteng Health Department last gave figures for Thursday 5 November when it reported 1730 patients in hospital.

It is important that we have accurate figures about current infections in order to detect trends and intervene early in hotspots.

I suspect that we are not doing enough tests in the right places, and this needs to be fixed urgently.

Issued byJack Bloom,DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health, 11 November 2020