GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT NEWS - The Western Cape Health Department in the Garden Route is optimistic about the current Covid-19 situation.
"In the district as a whole we are experiencing a flattening of active cases and so also hospitalisations and deaths," said Nadia Ferreira, the province's district health spokesperson. "Some sub-districts' numbers are more satisfying than others, but if we compare our statistics to a month earlier, it appears that we are over the peak."
Oudtshoorn and Mossel Bay currently have the highest number of active cases per 100 000 of the population, with Oudtshoorn's rate at 233 and Mossel Bay at 149 per 100 000.
The other towns' active cases per 100 000 are as follows: Bitou 43, George 88, Hessequa 26, Kannaland 9 and Knysna 76.
Oudtshoorn also has the highest number of active cases (218). George has the second highest number of active cases at 190. This represents a remarkable drop from more than 700 active cases at the end of July.
Mediclinic: 'Considerable improvement'
According to Mediclinic George manager Kassie Karstens, the situation at this hospital has improved considerably over the past week or two. "The ICU is still full and we have a couple of patients in the general Covid-19 ward, but the increase in hospitalisations is definitely down. We find that most of the patients now come from the Karoo and surrounds. The infection rate among Georgians is much lower," he said.
"We have resumed visiting hours and find that patients are benefiting tremendously from visits by family. Our staff situation is normal, and although we are not yet through the crisis, we certainly have hope that the worst is over."
Doctors much busier
He said doctors' practices are also much busier and all doctors, including general practitioners, have resumed operating at their normal capacity.
'Important to stay safe with five golden rules'
Ferreira said it is now even more important to adhere to the five golden hygiene rules to keep the infection numbers as low as possible and to prevent a second wave.
According to the World Health Organisation, there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies, are protected from a second infection, but studies in this regard are ongoing.
In the past week, from Wednesday 26 August till Tuesday 1 September, 29 deaths were recorded in the Garden Route, bringing the total number to 306.
In George, six people died and the total number of deaths is now 96.
Oudtshoorn recorded the highest death toll in the past week with 16 people who have passed on due to Covid-19.
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