GEORGE NEWS - George is the centre of a renewed outbreak of Covid-19 infections in the Western Cape province in the past three weeks, according to Western Cape health director Dr Keith Cloete. In the past week, active cases shot up by 200%.
Other areas in the Garden Route are also showing more active cases, but the numbers are rising at a slower rate.
In an online conference on Thursday 29 October, Cloete expressed concern over a surge in cases in Thembalethu, Pacaltsdorp and Conville.
As of 29 October there were 83 active cases in Thembalethu followed by Pacaltsdorp (72), George (45), Rosemoor (39), Parkdene (35), Conville (31), Borcherds (22), Lawaaikamp (19), George South (16) and Heatherlands (14), totalling 376.
Cloete said the department now has a resurgence monitor that breaks down cases by town and suburb. "All our teams everywhere in the province have access to this facility, so every morning they can log in and see the pattern. Now we know exactly where these cases are.
"The monitor showed that in the 14 days from 14 to 28 October, George reported 177 new cases of whom 40 were in Thembalethu, 28 in Pacaltsdorp and 16 in Conville. The team is now responding to that."
As of Tuesday 3 November, the Garden Route has 454 active cases, up from 366 from last Tuesday, 27 October. Garden Route Disaster Management chief Gerhard Otto said the increase is mostly in the age group 16 to 24 years.
"This is the group that go out over weekends and when the alcohol flows, all guards are down."
Six more people died from Covid-19 in the Garden Route and the death toll is now 390. Otto said deaths and hospitalisations have not increased over the past week.
He is concerned about citizens "who do not care" to adhere to Covid-19 health and social distancing protocols. Law enforcement, police and health personnel in the district will be doing joint inspections at restaurants and other places where rules are not adhered to.
The George Municipality will also put up billboards in hotspots in George to create awareness.
Appeal for more cloth masks
Otto appealed to women who have spare time and are able, to make cloth masks that can be distributed at no cost among the vulnerable elderly in high-risk areas in an effort to protect them.
Those who can make and donate masks, may call Tippie Bouwer at the Garden Route District Municipality on 083 941 0885.
In his digicon last week, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde asked for a "recovery deal" with the citizens of the province. He promised that the provincial government will continue to work on its recovery plan for the economy, while fighting Covid-19 "bushfires", and in return asked citizens to behave responsibly to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
"We have fought so hard to ensure that lockdown restrictions are eased so that businesses could go back to work and that we could start the process of clawing back jobs. If further restrictions are imposed on us because of a major flare-up of Covid-19, this will be fundamentally detrimental to our efforts to recover from this crisis."
GARDEN ROUTE CASES AS OF 3 NOVEMBER
- Total 11 077 cases (10 233 recoveries, 390 deaths)
- George 3 989 (3 631 recoveries, 114 deaths)
- Bitou 715 (649 recoveries, 25 deaths)
- Knysna 1 670 (1 550 recoveries, 52 deaths)
- Mossel Bay 2 577 (2 466 recoveries, 71 deaths)
- Hessequa 366 (334 recoveries, 19 deaths)
- Oudtshoorn 1 614 (1 461 recoveries, 107 deaths)
- Kannaland 146 (142 recoveries, 2 deaths)
WESTERN CAPE CASES AS OF 3 NOVEMBER
Total confirmed cases 116 631 (109 078 recoveries, 4 369 deaths)
NATIONAL CASES AS OF 3 NOVEMBER
Total confirmed cases 728 836 (659 249 recoveries, 19 539 deaths)
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