WESTERN CAPE NEWS - December is usually time when we come together- we hold office functions, year-end parties, Christmas lunches and the province is known for its many events and gatherings.
But studies also show that Covid-19 spreads where people gather. In surveys in October, the Western Cape Government asked people where they thought they had contracted Covid. Of those who knew, 42% said they thought they had caught it at a social event or from a friend.
This is why it is so important that they year, we do things differently to ensure that we do not put ourselves and others at risk.
Many matrics will be finishing their exams soon and while the official Rage celebration has been postponed, I call on matrics and their parents to act responsibly. Please refrain from arranging or attending large, private functions and parties which could easily become super spreader events- in the interests of your own health, and those around you.
Earlier this year, we saw how a number of young people became infected with Covid-19 after they were linked to a super-spreader event in the Southern Suburbs.
We have also seen the warnings issued by National Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize after a number of young people became infected at an event in KZN.
Law enforcement and SAPS will be monitoring businesses, venues and public spaces like beaches for these kinds of events and will act to enforce regulations.
It is in all of our hands to ensure that we are able to flatten the curve, save lives and ensure that our hospitals are able to continue to provide care for those with Covid-19, as well as those residents who need care for other illnesses and ailments.
The Department of Health has developed practical “safe keeping” tips for the public to follow and support the efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19:
- Reconsider having a traditional celebration – go virtual, especially for those at highest risk of severe illness.
- Be careful about sharing your “air space” by avoiding crowds where you cannot keep 1.5m distance, and make sure you wear a mask.
- Avoid non-essential gatherings (get-togethers, social events, etc). Consider postponing year-end functions until it is safer to gather or use the funds to support a good cause.
- Ensure the venue where you are has good ventilation by opening windows and doors.
- If you must gather, consider having get-togethers and social events outdoors. Opt for restaurants with outdoor seating or enjoy meals picnic style.
- Always wear a mask when in public or when having people around.
- Limit the size of your get-together (more people = more risk)
- Keep them short (longer = more risk)
- If you are sick – stay home and arrange a test.
- Quarantine if you have had a close contact and isolate while awaiting test results including from other household members and especially those at risk of severe COVID-19.
- Complete your full isolation period if you test positive.
Update on the coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde
As of 13:00 on Tuesday 8 December, the Western Cape has 15 486 active Covid-19 infections with a total of 141 772 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 121 417 recoveries.
The Western Cape has recorded 51 additional deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 4 869.
We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time.
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