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 programmes 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.