November 28, 2020

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Concern over spike in cases of Covid-19 along the Garden Route

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published8m ago

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Cape Town – The Western Cape government has adopted a multi-sectoral response that includes elements of law enforcement, health education and the private sector to make up its Covid-19 containment strategy on the Garden Route where cases have recently spiked, according to Premier Alan Winde.

Speaking at his regular virtual news conference, Winde said: “Over the past seven days, the Western Cape has seen a 20% increase in the number of new Covid-19 cases primarily driven by increases being recorded in the Garden Route district. We are particularly concerned about the increase in the number of cases in George, Knysna and Bitou, where the test positivity rate is around 32%.

“Our hot spot teams are working closely with health teams, the municipalities, environmental health officers, law enforcement and SAPS in order to manage and contain the spread of infections. We have also targeted communication to the Garden Route with SMS and social media messaging,” Winde said.

Head of health Dr Keith Cloete said: “The latest data available from the department as of yesterday (November 12) shows that George, where 95 new cases were reported Wednesday, was the worst affected area.

“We continue with ongoing community screening and testing in all the areas with community health workers including in Pacaltsdorp and Uniondale where the team is struggling and under a lot of pressure,” said Cloete.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz welcomed the progress made on the implementation of the provincial Safety Plan through its partnership with the Western Cape economic development partnership.

Fritz said: “The province’s Covid-19 recovery plan has safety as one of its key pillars, and considerable focus and resources are being allocated to this area. The safety priority is to reduce interpersonal violence, which requires an evidence-informed, data-led, and area-based public health approach to law enforcement and violence prevention.”

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo spoke of her visit earlier to the Bellville Taxi Rank and said: “The message remains the same, we’re open but rely on you, the public, to ensure that we control the infection rate. For instance, crowded areas should be avoided at all costs,” said Mbombo.

Cape Argus

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