JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced on Friday that he has tested positive for Covid-19.
He decided to get tested on Wednesday after experiencing mild symptoms. He received his results on Friday morning.
Makhura revealed his infection a day after his health department said six members of its “Covid-19 War Room” had contracted the virus, including Head of the Gauteng Health Department Professor Mkhululi Lukhele. Makhura and the six officials will self-isolate for two weeks.
“Given the fact that I only have mild symptoms, I will continue to ensure that the Provincial Executive Council and Provincial Coronavirus Command Council respond adequately to weather the storm of the pandemic,” Makhura said.
South Africa’s confirmed coronavirus infections have been accelerating in recent weeks as lockdown restrictions are eased. Cases rose by 13 000 to 238 339 on Thursday, the biggest single-day rise since the outbreak began.
Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, is now the epicentre with nearly 82 000 cases.
Two other provincial premiers, of the Western Cape and the North West province, have tested positive for the virus.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde on Thursday cancelled his regular digital news conference on advice of his doctor after developing a “slight fever as a result of Covid-19″.
Winde said: “As I have type 2 diabetes, I am monitoring myself closely. My blood glucose levels were also higher than usual this morning, determining the decision to take due precautions and rest.”
North West Premier Job Mokgoro, who announced a few days ago he had contracted Covid-19, travelled to Gauteng for treatment and is currently in a Joburg hospital.
This week North West MEC Gordon Kegakilwe was laid to rest after succumbing to Covid-19.
He died a few days ago en route to another hospital where he was being transferred. Kegakilwe was the MEC for Corporate Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs.
ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu also died of Covid-19 on Wednesday.