GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT NEWS - If the current infection trend continues, the Garden Route could have 10 000 Covid-19 positive cases by 25 July.
This has prompted newly elected George Mayor, Leon van Wyk, to make an earnest plea for the strict observance of hygiene protocols. "We need to ensure that we continue to observe all the Stay Safe protocols at all times and pass this message along to everyone. Take care out there," he said.
Van Wyk shared the message on the Garden Route District WhatsApp group of the Government Information and Communication System on Tuesday 26 May. He said it was revealed at a meeting of district teams of the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre on Monday that the positive cases in the region are now doubling every 10 days.
"Projection for Garden Route is to peak at 10 000 cases around 25 July. This is reason for concern given that the largest quarantine facility is at PetroSA with 690 beds."
George Herald's enquiry regarding the readiness of field hospitals and quarantine facilities in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo was redirected from the Garden Route District Municipality and Western Cape Health Department to the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works.
It was previously confirmed by Gerhard Otto, disaster management chief, that in addition to the Petro SA quarantine facility, the Calitzdorp Spa and De Hoek camping site have also been offered to the Health Department for use as quarantine facilities, and could be activated when the Petro SA site is full.
Heatherlands High School in George was identified as a possible field hospital site. Otto also said that sites in addition to existing graveyards were being identified for burials.
Jandré Bakker, spokesperson for the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works said yesterday, Wednesday 27 May, that the PetroSA site has room for 700 beds.
Responding to our request for photos of the site, he said as part of their agreement with PetroSA, it will not be allowed.
"Both the De Hoek and Calitzdorp Spa sites are on ice for the moment. We are negotiating with the SA Police Service for the use of their training college in Oudtshoorn. At this stage we have not approached private establishments with regard to possible quarantine and isolation facilities."
The Western Cape has 19 quarantine and isolation sites that offer 1 365 beds.
Bakker promised more information at a later stage about possible premises being identified for additional grave space.
According to Western Cape Health district spokesperson Nadia Ferreira, field hospitals will be prepared according to need. Healthcare workers will be allocated by Province to the districts as and when needed.
Red Dot taxis
The Red Dot service, a taxi service delivered through a partnership between the Department of Transport and Public Works and the minibus taxi industry, will be used to transport people to and from public quarantine and isolation facilities from 1 June.
Children with Covid-19
It has been reported that 67 children under the age of 19 have been admitted to Western Cape hospitals to date for the treatment of Covid-19, but Ferreira did not confirm this number. She said facilities in the Garden Route and Central Karoo districts have not admitted any children with Covid-19.
"I can confirm that two two-month-old babies are being treated at Tygerberg Hospital. A media release with specific details regarding Western Cape statistics for children with Covid-19 will be circulated soon."
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