18 June 2021 Media Release: Environmental Health Practitioners continue to sensitise Garden Routers of a rise in COVID-19 infections

Media Release: Environmental Health Practitioners continue to sensitise Garden Routers of a rise in COVID-19 infections

For immediate release
18 June 2021

With the sharp spike in Covid-19 positive cases over the past few weeks, Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) play a pivotal role in ensuring that infection rates decrease. To address the issue, the various EHPs of GRDM implemented strict measures to ensure that the health of the residents in the area is protected.

Environmental Health Practitioners together with Officers from the South African Police Service during an operation in the Knysna and surrounding areas.

According to recent reports received from the Executive Manager for Community Services at GRDM, Clive Africa, the district’s respective Municipal Health sections implemented various measures in their attempt to stabilise the Covid-19 cases. Among these measures are the continuous discussions with local municipalities and other stakeholders to intensify activities in the district. Key performance areas relevant to the pandemic were therefore the focal point. The focus now is primarily on house visits, contact tracing of newly reported cases, health and hygiene awareness interventions at identified premises, and health surveillance of premises and collaborative blitzes at spaza shops.

During the last few weeks, more awareness sessions were conducted in residential areas of the district in collaboration with health care workers and officials from the Provincial Hospitals. It was established that some of the churches were not Covid-19 compliant, more specifically in the Mossel Bay area – where no social distancing, no wearing of masks and too many people were allowed to attend services at the same time, were found. An investigation and awareness campaigns followed, after which the following were implemented.

  • awareness sessions with all church denominations in the area;
  • awareness sessions at restaurants to make use of outdoor tables as much as possible;
  • media campaign (print and electronic), with the help from the local municipality; and
  • compliance inspections with the support from the South African Police Service.

EHPs at GRDM furthermore continue to organise joint operations with the South African Police Service for their visits to spaza shops and taverns, as well as Tshisanyamas. These are conducted after-hours and are part of their ongoing interventions to curb the rise of infections in the district. Furthermore, continuous compliance visits to funeral parlours are also taking place.

More Covid-19 measures in place after the President’s announcement on 15 June 2021, include:

  • Curfew from 22:00 to 4:00 – bars and restaurants need to close by 21:00;
  • Alcohols sales from Monday to Thursday from 10:00 to 18:00;
  • Funerals restricted to 50 persons per service with a maximum of 2 hours per funeral, with no after-funeral activities;
  • All gatherings restricted to 50 persons (indoor) and 100 persons (outdoor); and
  • The wearing of masks is mandatory – any person without a face cover in a public space will be committing an offence.

Report non-compliance by businesses or related incidents to the GRDM Disaster Management Centre 24/7 at telephone number 044-805 5071.