PREMIER DAVID MAKHURA RECOVERS FROM COVID-19 AND RESUMES OFFICIAL DUTIES TO LEAD THE BATTLE AGAINST THE PANDEMIC IN GAUTENG

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has recovered from COVID-19 after completing 14 days of self-isolation, in accordance with the WHO protocols. The Premier has been self-isolating since 09 July 2020.

Today, Premier Makhura resumed his official duties and has rejoined the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic in Gauteng, whose primary focus is to curb the spread of coronavirus and save more lives.

This morning, Thursday, 23 July 2020, the Premier joined the virtual Sitting of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature where the MEC for Finance tabled the Adjustment Budget to enable the province to adequately respond to COVID-19. Through the Budget tabled today, Gauteng is hiring more health workers, procuring more personal protective equipment (PPE) and increasing bed capacity in existing public health facilities, and putting up field hospitals in preparation for the peak.

As he rejoins thousands of committed public servants who are working tirelessly to combat the spread of the pandemic, Premier Makhura is concerned that the COVID-19 public health emergency is seen by some rogue and corrupt public officials as an opportunity to loot public resources.

“The resources being allocated for COVID-19 should be utilized 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 absolute shame that resources meant for saving lives are looted”, said Premier Makhura.

Accordingly, Premier Makhura will next week brief the media on several investigations that have been completed by the Special Investigation Unit and those that are currently underway, including the specific investigation into the procurement of PPE in the Department of Health, requested by Premier Makhura in May this year.

The Provincial Government also welcomes the recovery of other senior government officials including MEC for Infrastructure Development, Ms. Tasneem Motara, Gauteng Health Head of Department (HOD), Prof. Mkhululi Lukhele and the Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela. They have also returned to rejoin the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Makhura expressed his absolute confidence in the public healthcare system and further conveyed his deep gratitude to the public healthcare workers who provided care to him over the past 14 days.

“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 Premier Makhura.

“I further express my deep personal gratitude to fellow Gauteng residents, South Africans and counterparts in the continent for all the well wishes and messages of support I received during this time. I also wish those who have contracted COVD-19 a speedy recovery and further convey my condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones,” Premier Makhura said.

Regarding the current rate of infections, Premier Makhura said: “Whilst I am deeply concerned that Gauteng is now the epicentre of COVID-19 in South Africa, with 144 582 confirmed cases and 1156 deaths, 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”.

The Premier concluded by calling on the people of Gauteng to continue playing their part in the fight against COVID-19, by practicing good hand hygiene, wearing of face masks, maintaining physical distancing, avoid public gatherings, restrict funerals to 50 people and ensure communities play an active role in combatting the spread of COVID-19.

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