GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The Garden Route is leading the Western Cape Province in terms of the second wave of Covid-19 infections with George and Knysna having reported a record number of new cases yesterday (Monday 23 November), higher than ever recorded in a day during the first wave.
According to information provided by the Western Cape Health Department, George has the highest number of Covid-19 active cases (1 116) in the province.
The city reported 347 new cases in over the weekend and between Monday 23 to Tuesday 24 November, 107 new cases.
Gerhard Otto, head of Disaster Management in the Garden Route, said Premier Alan Winde will be hosting a meeting tonight (Tuesday 24 November) with his Covid management team to see what strategy should be taken to curb infections.
Otto said whereas Cape Town was the centre of infections during the first wave, this has now changed with the Garden Route being the centre of the spike.
According to a report yesterday by Western Cape Head of Health Dr Keith Cloete, during October, the most new cases were experienced in younger people in the age group 16-20 years, but for the last few weeks in the Garden Route, the same age group as affected in the first wave now make up most of the people affected.
"We are experiencing a rapid reported increase in hospitalisations as well as more fatalities. The Garden Route now shows widespread community transmission, not only specific super spreader events," said Cloete.
Death rate increasing
According to today's figures (Tuesday 24 November) provided by the Garden Route District Command Council, the number of deaths in the district now totals 452 (29 deaths since last week Tuesday 17 November).
The district has now 2 509 active cases: George has 1 116 active cases, Knysna 446, Mossel Bay 460, Hessequa 44, Oudtshoorn 114, Kannaland 3, and Bitou 326.
Otto said hospitals are having to cope with increasing pressure.
The Premier will announce measures to be taken tomorrow, Wednesday 25 November.
Sharp increase in positive George Hospital staff
George Hospital has commissioned Ward A1 (25 beds) and Ward A2 (23 beds) as Covid wards and the Virus Testing Centre, closed recently, has reopened. An ICU (18 beds) in the Day Ward has also been opened for Covid cases.
The VTC, that was reopened yesterday, Monday 23 November, tested 66 patients on the first day.
According to information the George Herald has received, the management is concerned about the number of staff members who have recently contracted Covid-19. Twenty-three positive staff members are isolating, of whom nine were diagnosed today, Tuesday 24 November.
More than 30 staff members are in quarantine (high-risk exposure). Contact tracing of new cases is underway.
'We bring you the latest Garden Route, Hessequa, Karoo news'