GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - Garden Route District Director for Health Mr Zee Brickles says there has been a 196% increase in Covid-19 cases in the district in the last two weeks.
In a statement issued on Friday 16 October, Brickles thanked residents of the Garden Rotue for their behaviour to stay safe by wearing masks, washing hands often, and keeping a distance from others. He appealed to people to continue to remain vigilant to prevent a possible second wave.
The Garden Route has recorded 369 Covid deaths and 10 484 infections since the start of the pandemic.
“It has been 7 long months of lockdown and the natural reaction to the easing up of these restrictions are to catch up on all that we have missed out on over the past months but we can’t become complacent now. It has always been feared that when the lockdown restrictions ease up, the infection rate would increase.
"We have unfortunately already seen a 196% increase in covid-19 cases in the district over the past 14 days. This increase is compared to the previous 14 day-period. We know how quickly the virus can spread and now is the time that we must do our utmost best to prevent or contain a second wave," said Brickles.
“We as individuals, members of families and communities, are responsible for ensuring that we protect ourselves and keep those near and dear to us, safe at all times.
"We should ask ourselves in every situation how we can make it safer for ourselves and our loved ones, knowing that we can easily and unknowingly pass the virus on or take it home to our families.
"Remember to wash your hands regularly, wear your mask when you are in public spaces and avoid large gatherings."
Brickles said it is very importing that people avoid possible super-spreader events, such as crowded places, poorly ventilated spaces, and close contact with others.
Reintroduction of Services
The Health Department’s risk and impact-based approach is guiding the services to be reintroduced – identifying those services which have low risk yet high impact (such as Diabetes, Hypertension, HIV, TB, Child, and Women’s health, and including immunizations).
According to Brickles, these services which had reduced significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, will have a significant long-term impact for those clients who had missed immunisations, follow-up appointments and scheduled non-emergency treatment.
"While elective surgeries are slowly being re-escalated, life-saving surgeries (such as cancer surgeries and urgent cardiac surgeries) will be prioritised with the more urgent cases being dealt with first. However, emergency surgeries have not stopped and will also continue."
"The Department realises the need to continue with normal activities such as going back to work and using public transport. We also need to make sure that we are looking after our health. In order to ensure that this happens, we are currently embarking on an awareness drive at places of gathering and within communities to get residents to take up basic health services again, with a focus on general health, wellbeing, and ongoing care for vulnerable groups.
"Be on the lookout for this campaign within malls, taxis, while waiting at the bus shelter and when washing your hands in washrooms at malls," said Brickles.
Wear mask, keep hands clean
This awareness drive also includes reminding residents that the best way to keep us moving forward is to wear a mask, keep our hands clean and keep at least a 1.5 metre distance from other people.
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