GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - Beefing up public awareness is one of the main ways the Garden Route can prevent a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is according to Garden Route Disaster Management chief Gerhard Otto, who says the Garden Route Covid-19 Disaster Management Command Council is honing in on this new threat.
"A resurgence is expected in South Africa due to factors such as the easing of restrictions, summer vacation activities, mass gatherings, a return to nightlife and poor adherence to social distancing," says Otto.
There was a slight overall decrease (-4) in the total number of active cases in the Garden Route in the first three weeks of October, but over the past two weeks an upward trend has been noticed.
In George the number of active cases reported over the first three weeks of the month increased by 14 (133 current cases) and in Mossel Bay by 19 (59 current cases). The other towns showed a slight increase or no overall movement in the number.
During the three-week period, the district recorded 543 new Covid-19 cases, 218 of which were reported in the last week (13 to 20 October). As of 20 October, the total number of cases is 10 538. Thirteen deaths were recorded over this period of which six were in George.
Otto says action plans to increase public awareness about behaviour will be implemented in the district immediately.
Out of 113 countries studied by the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre's (DMC) subcommittee on preventing a second wave, 24 experienced an additional wave of infections. The second wave was higher than the first, but in half the countries the death rate was lower.
"The main reason for the decline in cases during the first wave in these countries was non-pharmaceutical intervention, that is behavioural change," says Otto.
Among the prevention strategies being considered are appointing volunteers as Covid-19 marshals, having officials publicly commit to behavioural change and engaging children in holding their families accountable for their Covid-19 actions.
Health director appeals to public
Garden Route District Director for Health Zee Brickles made an earnest appeal to the public to continue to be vigilant and not become complacent. Brickles was concerned over the increase in cases.
"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."
GARDEN ROUTE CASES AS OF 20 OCTOBER
- Total 10 538 cases (9 859 recoveries, 372 deaths)
- George 3 740 (3 495 recoveries, 112 deaths)
- Bitou 657 (618 recoveries, 24 deaths)
- Knysna 1 595 (1 534 recoveries, 50 deaths)
- Mossel Bay 2 510 (2 382 recoveries, 69 deaths)
- Hessequa 341 (315 recoveries, 18 deaths)
- Oudtshoorn 1 559 (1 391 recoveries, 98 deaths)
- Kannaland 136 (124 recoveries, 1 death)
WESTERN CAPE CASES AS OF 20 OCTOBER
- Total confirmed cases 113 864 (106 440 recoveries, 4 296 deaths)
NATIONAL CASES AS OF 20 OCTOBER
- Total confirmed cases 706 304 (639 568 recoveries, 18 656 deaths)
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