File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Spike in Covid-19 infections, hospitalisations putting pressure on Garden Route health systems

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Aug 4, 2020

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Cape Town – While the Western Cape has seen promising signs of a decline in infections, hospitalisations and deaths in some parts of the province, the Garden Route is still recording increases on all levels.

This was stated on Tuesday by Premier Alan Winde, who also announced that as of 1pm today, the Western Cape has 10 221 active cases of Covid-19, with a total of 95 904 confirmed cases and 82 447 recoveries.

The Western Cape has recorded an additional 93 deaths, bringing the total number of Covid-19-related deaths in the province to 3 236. Of these, 33 deaths are new deaths, with the remaining 60 deaths from a backlog of people who had died at home and not at a healthcare facility

Winde said they are experiencing “increased pressure on our healthcare systems in the Garden Route region, specifically in the demand for high care and ICU treatment”.

“We believe that many areas across the province are at different stages in their infection curve and the Garden Route may not yet have reached its peak. It is therefore important that we all continue to work hard to ensure that we can slow the spread across the entire province.

“The Western Cape government is committed ensuring that we are able to manage this peak in the same way we managed the peak in the Metro and will be applying lessons learned and boosting resources to the region.

“The Western Cape Department of Health will therefore be allocating additional resources to hospitals in the region, including additional staff and the equipment necessary to administer high flow nasal oxygen. Oudsthoorn and Knysna hospitals have already received equipment which is in use.

“High-flow nasal oxygen has helped to relieve the pressure on ICU and and high-care facilities in the metro region as it can be administered in an acute setting, under the correct supervision.

“Our hot-spot interventions also continue in this region. Some of these include increased communications in communities using radio, street pole posters, and loudhailing.

“Public and high-traffic areas are also being sanitised and EPWP workers have been assigned to ensure social distancing in public places.

“The Garden Route District Municipality's environmental health practitioners are also conducting visits to the homes of people who have tested positive and their close contacts to check that they are self-isolating, and are attending Covid-19 funerals to ensure protocols are being adhered to.

“They will also focus on reinforcing training of funeral undertakers to ensure that the correct procedures are being followed.

“Minister of Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela will be visiting the region over the long weekend.

“He will conduct roadblocks in Bitou, Knysna and George. Being a long-weekend, checking that long-distance taxis are complying with the 70% loading regulations. He will also be conducting visits to Western Cape transport and health facilities in Knysna and George.

“Minister of Health, Nomafrench Mbombo has scheduled a four-day visit to the region for next week where she will be conducting oversight visits and community engagements across the district.

“These community engagements will be aimed at bringing about behaviour change, which is key to slowing the spread.

“To this end, we appeal to all residents of the Garden Route to continue to take all the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones."


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