GEORGE NEWS - While there were no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, Covid-19, in George by yesterday afternoon, Wednesday 18 March, Fancourt Hotel has decided to temporarily close its doors while staff members hold their breath pending the test result of a guest in self-isolation at the hotel.
The hotel will gradually go into lockdown as guests book out and no new guests will be welcomed from this coming Saturday.
Meanwhile, a Knysna doctor confirmed yesterday that two of his patients, a Knysna couple who recently returned from a wedding in Europe, are the first people in the Garden Route to test positive for the virus after displaying symptoms.
However, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) still has to verify the couple’s tests and it has not been confirmed or officially announced.
Fancourt assisted the sick guest to be tested for Covid-19 at Mediclinic George on Sunday, said spokesperson Peter Dros. “We have started an internal tracing process and instructed those staff identified to remain in selfisolation until the results have been released.”
Dros confirmed that the guest had been treated in the spa, which was closed as of 12:00 on Monday 16 March. Two staff members from the spa who were in contact with the guest are in self-isolation.
“We have never faced such a situation and are devastated that we are forced to cease all operations. We are acutely aware of our footprint in the community and we believe that we should take every possible precaution. We trust that the community we serve will appreciate that we really have no other option than to temporarily close down. We will be sure to inform the community as soon as we have clarity on the results of the suspected case at Fancourt.”
At 14:30 yesterday, Nadia Ferreira of Western Cape Health confirmed that up to that time, no cases had been officially confirmed in the district. South Africa had 116 confirmed cases as of yesterday morning.
This was an increase of 31 new cases from the previous day and included an increase of six local transmission cases, according to the National Department of Health.
Official statistics News24 reports that Government has effectively “gagged” epidemiologists, virologists, infectious disease specialists and other experts on Covid-19 with an instruction that all requests for comment about the state of the pandemic, the virus itself and its spread should be directed to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD). Popo Maja, spokesperson for the National Health Department, confirmed that communication with regard to cases and tests must be verified through official channels.
“Educational campaigns should use approved content from government.”
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'