Weekly update on the Coronavirus by the Garden Route District Municipality Command Centre

Weekly update on the Coronavirus by the Garden Route District Municipality Command Centre

For Immediate Release
28 June 2020

The Garden Route has recorded nineteen (19) COVID-19 deaths to date – twelve in George, one in Mossel Bay, four in Knysna, one in Hessequa and one in Bitou. We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time.

Since 21 June 2020, the Garden Route has recorded 312 new COVID-19 positive cases. The Garden Route has now recorded 386 recoveries. While most people who get infected with Covid-19 will recover at home or at one of our comfortable quarantine or isolation facilities, some patients will require hospitalisation and medical care.The total number of people referred for further testing since the start of community screening stands at 635 – a total number of 121 095 have been screened to date. It is important to remember for the public to stay home if they feel sick and to call the hotline number, 021 928 4102, for advice on what to do next.

Western Cape Provincial Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers.

This week was also the first week for MEC Tertuis Simmers to attend the Garden Route District Command Council’s weekly Friday session where he plays an oversight role in the District’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 Coronavirus. MEC Simmers said: “It is noteworthy to observe how the Garden Route District Municipality, and the 7 B-municipalities (Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Bitou, Oudtshoorn and George), have worked together with the Western Cape Government and other role players to ensure that all areas are focused on the objectives of defeating the spread of the COVID-19 virus”.

COVID-19 Statistics for the Garden Route

Bitou 33 17 55 (+22) 18 (+1)
George 289 122 460 (+171) 168 (+44)
Hessequa 20 15 20 (0) 17 (+2)
Kannaland 3 2 5 (+2) 3 (+1)
Knysna 116 71 142 (+26) 89 (+18)
Mossel Bay 104 38 175 (+71) 68(+30)
Oudtshoorn 37 15 58 (+21) 23 (+8)
Totals 603 280 915 (+312) 386 (+106)

Visit https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard for live updates.

Garden Route District Men’s Parliament

Executive Mayor for GRDM, Cllr Memory Booysen provided an overview of what was discussed at the recently held Men’s Parliament, specifically on the issue around Gender-Based Violence. Listen to what he said here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hVXGrWiJkw

George midwife shares her COVID-19 experience

Alida (58), a midwife at George Hospital, survived COVID-19 while living with her comorbidities of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. She also had a stroke a year ago. ‘I made it,’ she said. Read more here: Press Release

Home visits to those who tested positive for COVID-19

The Garden Route District Environmental Health Practitioners visited 100 people over the past week who had tested positive and found that only 2 people did not adhere to the rules and regulations.

During visits to COVID-19 positive persons, Environmental Health Practitioners maintain social distancing and engages with patients outside their homes. This is done in a discrete manner that doesn’t create suspicion to surrounding community members. Read more here: Press Release

EPWP essential workers to assist at COVID-19 hotspots in the Garden Route

All participants will perform their duties under the supervision of the Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM). Their activities will include the following:

  • health promotion on COVID-19 prevention, hand washing practices and social distancing measures in public places;
  • distribution of hygiene soap and hand sanitizers in identified high risk communities, education on proper handwashing techniques;
  • home-to-home education interventions, where required; and
  • cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched high-risk areas, e.g. communal water collection points, taxi ranks and other places identified by the applicable municipality.

Read more here: Press Release

Stay safe. Save Lives.

  • Regular handwashing and hygiene measures which include coughing into your elbow or a tissue, regular cleaning of surfaces at home or at work, and not touching your face.
  • Stay at home whenever possible. Do not go to places where groups of people gather unless necessary. Do not visit family or friends to socialise as this could put everyone at risk.
  • Always keeping a distance of at least 1.5 metres between yourself and any other person when you are not at home. This includes in the workplace, in queues, on public transport or anywhere where people gather.
  • Wearing a clean, cloth mask whenever you leave home. Wearing your mask correctly and at all times, not only protects you but can prevent you from making others sick.
  • Stay at home if you feel sick.
  • Seek medical care if you experience shortness of breath
  • If you are over the age of 55 or you have an underlying illness, you are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill or dying. It is therefore important that you take extra precautions and stay home wherever possible.
  • Those who are healthy should assist those at higher risk with tasks like shopping or errands that require them to leave the house.

The Western Cape Department of Health found that the following risk factors are most prevalent for people who succumbed to the COVID-19 coronavirus in the region. A shift in testing strategy to prioritise persons most at risk for severe disease, therefore include:

  • Diabetes, hypertension or heart disease on treatment
  • Cancer on treatment
  • TB on treatment
  • HIV with poor adherence to ARVs
  • Chronic lung disease on treatment (e.g. asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis)

Many people who contract Covid-19 will have mild symptoms and most will recover without any need for hospitalisation. But this does not mean that we should be any less careful- as you could experience mild symptoms, but you could also pass on the virus to your parents or grandparents, or someone in one of the high risk groups.

People with existing comorbidities are more at risk of becoming severely ill if they contract Covid-19.

Those most at risk include those who are:

  • Individuals with comorbidities, at any age
  • 55 years an older, with or without co-morbidities