Gauteng Premier David Makhura has recovered from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and has already resumed his official duties by joining Thursday’s virtual sitting of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, where the Adjustment Budget was tabled as part of the province’s Covid-19 response.
He expressed his confidence in the public healthcare system and thanked public healthcare workers who had seen to him since July 9, as well as the general public for their well wishes.
“I thank the public healthcare workers in Region A of Johannesburg for the professional care they provided to me over the past 14 days. During my battle with Covid-19, I came face to face with the dedication, bravery, professionalism and fears of thousands of public healthcare workers who are sacrificing their own lives in order to save more lives. I wish to convey my deep appreciation and gratitude to you all,” said Makhura.
Other provincial government officials who have recovered from the virus include Infrastructure Development MEC Tasneem Motara, Gauteng Health Department head Proessor Mkhululi Lukhele and Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela.
Gauteng is now the epicentre of the virus in South Africa with 144 582 confirmed cases and 1 156 deaths.
In preparation for the peak of the virus, Gauteng is employing more health workers, procuring more personal protective equipment (PPE), increasing bed capacity in existing public health facilities and creating field hospitals.
However, Makhura said he was concerned that the pandemic is being used by some “rogue and corrupt public officials” as an opportunity to loot public resources.
“The resources being allocated for Covid-19 should be utilised strictly to strengthen the capacity and boost the resilience of our public healthcare system to save more lives and deal with the burden of the disease, and handle the outbreak of epidemics and pandemics. It is an absolute shame that resources meant for saving lives are looted,” he said.
He is expected to brief the media on several investigations by the Special Investigation Unit, including the investigation into the procurement of PPE in the Department of Health.
“I strongly believe we can slow down the pandemic and save more lives through more ward-based and community-oriented Covid-19 response teams. We need to work together – government, civil society and communities,” he urged and also called on the general public to adhere to lockdown regulations and hygiene practises.