Covid-19: Western Cape issues 'hotspot alert' for Garden Route

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An overview of Knysna and the lagoon on the Garden Route. (Photo by: Peter Titmuss/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
An overview of Knysna and the lagoon on the Garden Route. (Photo by: Peter Titmuss/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
  • The Western Cape government has issued a hotspot alert for the Garden Route.
  • The alert was in response to a rapid increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in areas such as George and Knysna/Bitou.
  • On Thursday, Premier Alan Winde will set out more details on the response plans for the district.

The Western Cape government has issued an "urgent hotspot alert" after a rapid increase in the number of Covid-19 cases along the popular Garden Route.

According to Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, this spike was the main contributor to the notable growth of active cases in the Western Cape.

"Specifically, we are concerned about the increasing number of cases in George, Knysna and Bitou," said Winde.

"George, which currently has 628 active cases, has the highest number of active cases in the province," he added.

READ HERE | Covid-19 reinfection cases in SA: NICD can't confirm repeat infections, wants labs to keep specimens

Over the past weekend, the province saw:

  • 160 new cases in George 
  • 145 new cases in Knysna/Bitou 
  • 41 new cases in Mossel Bay 
  • 7 new cases in Hessequa 

Due to the increasing number of positive cases, hospitalisations were also on the rise.

Winde said that hospitals still had sufficient capacity to cope with the surge in cases, however, he urged people to take responsibility to ensure that the spread of the virus was contained.

The hotspot team for the Garden Route increased surveillance through screening and testing.

READ | Eastern Cape Covid-19 outbreaks may not develop into second wave if managed well - Mkhize

"We are also paying special attention to vulnerable groups, including old age homes," added Winde.

He asked residents and visitors of the Garden Route to continue following Covid-19 regulations such as the wearing of masks, maintaining a distance of 1.5m and avoiding gatherings.

"If you feel sick, stay at home and if you are experiencing symptoms, call the hotline on 080 928 4102 for directions and next steps."

"On Thursday, my weekly digital press conference will specifically focus on the Garden Route and I will set out more details on our response plans for the district," said Winde.

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