Covid-19 hotspot Johannesburg Gauteng
(Image by the University of the Witwatersrand/IBM Covid-19 hotspot dashboard)
  • An updated digital dashboard shows beginning of Covid-19 second wave in Gauteng – and exactly where it is developing.
  • Current and developing hotspots are tracked on a ward level using technology developed by Wits’ Institute for Collider Particle Physics.
  • The real-time data is intended to give help health services figure out where to target testing.
  • Several Johannesburg suburbs including Sandton, Linden, and Bedfordview have already been listed as areas of concern.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Much of the coronavirus focus is on coastal regions right now. But Gauteng has the highest cumulative Covid-19 caseload in South Africa and – even before holidaymakers return from the coast – at least 20 wards have been identified as developing hotspots, with clusters in Johannesburg, Randburg, Krugersdorp, and Pretoria.

Combining data gathered from the localised risk index with early indicators of the virus’ exponential growth, Wits University has developed a digital dashboard which aims to flag developing hotspots. The index of severity, crafted by the university’s Institute for Collider Particle Physics (ICPP) in collaboration with IBM, is intended to allow government to intensify testing and tracing in these high-risk areas.

On Monday, 21 December, Gauteng accounted for 18% of all new coronavirus cases registered nationally, with an active caseload that increased by more than 60% in the week after the announcement of tightened restrictions.

The dashboard focuses on two primary variables: the increase in cases, and the area-associated transmission risks.

These are the current and developing hotspots in Gauteng, listed by active cases registered.

Johannesburg

Covid-19 hotspot Johannesburg Gauteng
(Image by the University of the Witwatersrand/IBM Covid-19 hotspot dashboard)
Covid-19 hotspot Johannesburg Gauteng
(Image by the University of the Witwatersrand/IBM Covid-19 hotspot dashboard)

Sandton Ward 103, covering Sandown, River Club, Morningside, Benmore Gardens, and Bryanston is considered a certified hotspot with over 200 active cases and a combined risk index rating of 32. Nearby Atholl Gardens, Wynberg, and Alexandra Ext 24 are listed as developing hotspots displaying exponential growth with a risk rating of 33.

Ward 99, which includes Linden, Robindale, Blairgowrie, and Robin Hills, is considered a particularly high-risk area, with an index rating of 47.

Ward 20, a confirmed hotspot consisting of Bedfordview and Saint Andrews, holds the highest risk rating in Johannesburg of 55, with more than 50 active cases reported in an area less than one square kilometre.

Other areas around Johannesburg which have been identified as developing hotspots, with low levels of severity, include ward 73 (Orchards, Orange Grove, Houghton Estate), ward 87 (Greenside, Auckland Park, Westcliff, Melville, Forest Town) and ward 115 (Jukskei Park, Bloubosrand, Fourways, Witkoppen).

Krugersdorp

Covid-19 hotspot Johannesburg Gauteng
(Image by the University of the Witwatersrand/IBM Covid-19 hotspot dashboard)

West of Johannesburg’s city centre, wards 17 and 24, which includes Munsieville and Dan Pienaar accounting for over 100 active cases, have been listed as developing hotspots with high-risk ratings.

Although Krugersdrop Central has a low-risk rating of 19, with an active caseload quickly approaching 200, the area has been classified as an active hotspot.

Pretoria

Covid-19 hotspot Johannesburg Gauteng
(Image by the University of the Witwatersrand/IBM Covid-19 hotspot dashboard)

Tshwane ward 82, which includes the University of Pretoria, Menlopark, and Hazelwood, has been identified as a developing hotspot with a risk index of 25 and more than 50 active cases registered in an area less than one kilometre squared.

Ward 66, with the suburb of Valhalla at its centre, is regarded as a certified hotspot for a hyper-localised outbreak, just north of Wierda Road.  

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