While 10,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases reported on Tuesday were alarming, the Gauteng health department on Thursday said the number of people unknowingly carrying the virus was likely much higher.
Presenting the latest figures, the department said on Tuesday alone they had recorded the highest number of tests since the start of the pandemic: 30,000. They had also registered the highest number of positive cases in the province since the pandemic started.
But scores more people, potentially exposed to the virus, may not yet have reached testing centres.
Dr Mary Kawonga, chairperson of the premier’s advisory committee on Covid-19, said it was a difficult time for the province.
“There are many people in the community who are positive who have not been picked up through testing,” she said.
“The thing that is worrying us more about testing positivity is that despite the fact that we have ramped up our testing, we are still having a high test positivity [rate]. That means our testing is not keeping up with the rate of transmission in our communities.”
Prof Bruce Mellado, who is on the same committee, said the province was on the brink of experiencing a worst-case scenario.
While other provinces were recording a lower number of infections, Mellado warned they too would not be spared, as many of them shared borders with Gauteng.
Mellado said the next two days would be crucial.
“If today and tomorrow we see the same numbers as yesterday, we certainly have to consider the possibility that we may be encountering a second spike similar to the one we experienced two weeks ago,” he said .
“It may signal an alarm that we need tighter and harsher measures to be implemented to curb it.”