GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The Garden Route recorded a 201% increase in new Covid-19 cases over the seven days leading up to 10 November compared with the previous week, and hospital services (private and public) are experiencing increased pressure again from Covid-19 admissions.
The Covid ward of Harry Comay Hospital which was to be closed, has also started admitting patients again, according to the latest report (10 November) of the Garden Route Covid-19 Command Council.
The Garden Route reported 456 new cases from Tuesday 3 November to Tuesday 10 November, bringing the total number of recorded positive cases to date to 11 533. There are 660 active cases as of 10 November, an increase of 206 over the past week.
George sub-district has the highest number of active cases in the district (165 per 100 000), followed by Knysna (129 per 100 000) and Bitou (106 per 100 000).
In the province, George is the municipal area with the second most active cases (352) after Cape Town (about 400). Knysna is eighth.
George: 165 cases per 100 000
The provincial average increase in newly reported cases over the past week was 11% and most of these cases were from the Southern Cape area.
In all sub-districts in the Garden Route except Hessequa and Kannaland, cases increased by more than 100% over the past week. There are now 104 active cases per 100 000 residents in the district. One week ago it was 80.
This is more than double the provincial average of 48 per 100 000.
According to the Western Cape Health Department, preliminary indications are that increases in George are mainly clusters in Thembalethu, Pacaltsdorp, Conville and Lawaaikamp.
In Mossel Bay and Knysna, increases are "random" with no clear clusters, and in Bitou many visitors and holidaymakers to the area tested positive. The situation in Oudtshoorn is still being evaluated, but no clear clusters have been noticed.
New cases are reported mostly in the age group 20 to 30 years.
Eight Covid-19 deaths were reported from 3 to 10 November, bringing the total to 398. Five of the deaths were in George, two in Bitou and one in Mossel Bay.
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) reported that 336 visits were conducted at the homes of active Covid-19 cases to ensure adherence to isolation requirements. Contact tracing is kept up as part the Outbreak Response Teams.
Community awareness campaigns are being increased. Covid-19 funerals are also being monitored. In the past two weeks, 187 taverns and pubs were inspected (40 still need to be inspected).
During inspections, owners are informed about Covid-19 regulations. Awareness sessions with taxi operators and passengers at various taxi ranks and food vendors are done regularly and sanitisers handed out, soup kitchens are visited, and contact tracing and house visits continue.
Awareness sessions will furthermore be held at places such as churches, shopping centres, filling stations, taxi ranks, and holiday accommodation and recreational facilities. Airport screening continues.
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