South Africa Deploys Army to Help Manage Virus in Commercial Hub

South Africa deployed army medical personnel in the commercial hub of Gauteng province to help state health-care deal with a surge in coronavirus cases.

The military will assist with mass screening and testing, along with tracking and tracing programs from Friday, acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said in an online briefing.

Gauteng is currently the hardest-hit province in the country, accounting for about 60% of cases and averaging about 7,500 new infections daily, she said. The positivity rate in the province is more than 20%.

Kubayi-Ngubane said the decision to use army personnel was made after the province indicated it was in distress and needed additional resources. The deployment was agreed after a meeting with Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and President Cyril Ramaphosa, she said.

Gauteng recorded 7,502 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, out of a total of 11,767 cases nationally. On Wednesday, the nation recorded 13,246 new infections, the highest since January.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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