November 30, 2020

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COVID-19 alert: Three Western Cape towns named as ‘urgent hot-spots’

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Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has acted swiftly to put three well-populated towns in the Western Cape on an ‘urgent hot-spot alert’, after COVID-19 cases seemingly surged along the Garden Route.

Where are the COVID-19 hot-spots in the Western Cape?

This tourist-friendly region was branded as a ‘potential hot-spot’ by President Ramaphosa last week. Now, the regional government has listed its concerns in three major regions: George, Knysna, and Bitou. They are also keeping a close eye on Mossel Bay and Hessequa. Winde highlighted four specific figures that raised the alarm for his department:

  • Over the weekend, there were 160 new cases reported in George.
  • A total of 145 new cases were registered in Knysna and the Bitou (Plettenberg Bay).
  • From 14 – 15 November, 41 new cases surfaced in Mossel Bay.
  • There were also seven new cases logged in Hessequa.
Significant ‘upwards trends’ have been recorded in all affected areas along the Garden Route – Photo: covid19sa.org

Alan Winde issues ‘urgent alert’ for Garden Route

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Premier Winde confirmed that the Garden Route was mainly responsible for the spike of infections currently surfacing in the Western Cape. A rapid response team has been deployed, and special protections are being put in place for the vulnerable and elderly. This will be supported by a revamped communications drive.

“The Western Cape Government has issued an urgent hotspot alert for the Garden Route, due to the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases in that area. This spike is mainly contributing to the notable growth of active cases in the Western Cape. The hotspot team for the Garden Route has increased surveillance, through screening and testing.”

“Specifically, we are concerned about the increasing number of cases in George, Knysna, and Bitou. George, which currently has 628 active cases, has the highest number of active cases in the province. Along with the increasing number of cases in the region, we are also seeing the number of hospitalisations increase.”

Alan Winde

Why the Garden Route is now a ‘COVID-19 hot-spot’

In November, the Garden Route was home to the province’s biggest daily rises in cases – and the largest seven-day average increases for new infections – outside of the City of Cape Town. This data has compelled Winde and his colleagues to put a plan in place before the ‘local cluster’ becomes a ‘second surge’.

Garden route COVID-19 hot-spot Western Cape
Photo: covid19sa.org
  • All figures provided by the Western Cape Government, The National Health Department, and covid19sa.org

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