- The South African public called upon their mathematics skills on Wednesday after comments from Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku
- Masuku said that the Gauteng province is "preparing 1.5 million gravesites" and the public was alarmed by this high number
- Masuku has explained the comments; however, the DA has lambasted the MEC
The Gauteng Department of Health has explained Health MEC Bandile Masuku's comments on over 1.5 million gravesites being prepared.
The MEC's comments sparked controversy after he said they were preparing 1.5 million gravesites. The South African public reacted with shock and horror to the comments.
People said it makes no sense for Gauteng to be preparing 1.5 million graves when the the global death rate for Covid-19 is 550 000 (as at 09 July).
On Thursday, in a statement, the department said it wanted to clarify the confusion about the number of graves dug for expected Covid-19 deaths.
"The province does not have over a million already open dug graves, the over a million graves refers to the collective capacity municipalities can take.
"The GDoH is continuing to improve and increase both the infrastructure and human resource capacity of the health system to deal with the increasing pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic," the statement read.
News24 reported that the department said they understood that death was an uncomfortable matter to engage in.
However, they said ensuring that there is adequate burial space in the province, unfortunately, forms part of the reality government must contend with in the battle against Covid-19.
Despite the explanation, the DA said slammed Masuku for causing "needless panic".
Jack Bloom, the DA Shadow Health MEC for Gauteng said it was unlikely the country would need that many graves, despite the fact that at some point mass burials would take place, said The South African.
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that Gauteng hospitals are at a maximum capacity because of the Covid-19 virus.
Masuku said that while he doesn't believe the public healthcare system would fail in coming weeks, it would, however, "feel the pressure".
The Health Department said added that the reasons for maximum capacity being reached included the number of maternity cases, neonatal ICU cases, mental health (substance abuse) cases, trauma cases linked to alcohol and Covid-19 cases.
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