The Gauteng provincial government command council said social distancing remained a high-risk challenge to residents.
Speaking at a media briefing in Midrand on Sunday, to outline measures and regulations of the 21-day lockdown, which came into effect last week Friday, the province’s Premier David Makhura said various informal settlements, shopping centres, and taxi ranks have been identified as areas of great risk and concern for the spread of COVID-19.
Makhura urged South Africans to stop panic buying in order to reduce overcrowding and potential infections.
“The shops cannot be closed. That’s one thing we’ve made clear. So, I want to say to our people in various communities, there is no need to panic. The shops will not be closed.”
The premier also announced that the province will be improving its efforts to trace those who have been in contact with patients who contracted the virus and will be ramping up the number of testing facilities.
“We have trained now over 4,000 community healthcare workers who are a very important part of the tracing teams that have been deployed on the ground. We have also increasingly used technology in effectively helping us track down the people who could further put others at risk.”
Meanwhile at the same briefing, Health MEC Bandile Masuku said they were tracing six healthcare workers who tested positive for the coronavirus as well as those they came into contact with
Masuku said there was still a backlog in test results, mostly in private laboratories.
“We also need to indicate that we have a serious backlog on the test results, particularly from the laboratories. But slowly, we are catching up so that we are able to be up to date with all the tests that have been done throughout the country.”