KNYSNA NEWS - With roughly 300 000 screenings having been conducted in the Western Cape, almost 11 000 of these have been done in the Knysna/Bitou subdistricts by the end of last week, with 3 active Covid-19 cases in Knysna.
Knysna reported its first cases on 17 March and soon reached a total of 14 cases by mid-April. This number remained stagnant for nearly a month while all cases recovered, bringing the number of active cases down to zero for a while.
The situation changed, however, when recently a Knysna Municipality contract worker tested positive for the virus. The municipality broke the news on their Facebook page on Friday 8 May. The number of cases in Knysna has now reached 17, with two new cases being confirmed in Knysna on Wednesday afternoon (13 May), once the Knysna-Plett Herald had already gone to print. Therefore the newspaper article still only indicates 15 cases. It is unclear at this point whether the new cases are a direct result of the aforementioned contract worker.
In Plettenberg Bay/Bitou, the first case was reported on 21 March, and the region saw a very small spike in cases in the 10 days that followed, with Bitou's total infections reaching five. All five cases have recovered and there have been no new cases reported to date.
The Western Cape department of health (DoH) has prioritised communal screening around the province, beginning their testing campaign in the CX region in Bitou in early April before beginning community screening in Knysna on 4 May.
DoH spokesperson Nadia Ferreira confirmed that so far, 10 902 people in Knysna/Bitou have been screened with 33 being referred for testing. "We screen everyone that visits our facilities. We have also rolled out the community screening and testing program," Ferreira explained. "Screening and testing is an important tool in helping us to accurately pinpoint where infections are occurring and where a person does test positive, to start the contact tracing process."
Ferreira also urged people to not rest on their laurels and wait for the community screening campaigns to reach their doorsteps. "You don't have to wait for our community screening and testing initiative to be rolled out to your area," Ferreira said, pointing out that if you think you may have Covid-19, you can use one of the following three methods to be screened:
- Screening tool on the DoH website: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/risk-assessment-covid-19
- Call the provincial hotline on 021 928 4102.
- Call the nearest health facility and asked to be screened telephonically.
Dear reader, As your local news provider, we have the duty of keeping you factually informed on Covid-19 developments. As you may have noticed, mis- and disinformation (also known as “fake news”) is circulating online. Group Editors (publications and online platforms) is determined to filter through the masses of information doing the rounds and to separate truth from untruth in order to keep you adequately informed. Local newsrooms follow a strict pre-publication fact-checking protocol. A national task team has been established to assist in bringing you credible news reports on Covid-19.
'We bring you the latest Knysna, Garden Route news'