WC govt concerned by rise in COVID-19 infections in Garden Route

Over the past seven days, the province has seen a 20% increase in the number of new cases.

A view of Mossel Bay. Picture: mosselbay.gov.za

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government said that teams were hard at work to manage and contain the spread of COVID-19 infections along the Garden Route.

Over the past seven days, the province has seen a 20% increase in the number of new cases.

• SA records 2,338 new covid-19 cases as death toll rises to 20,076

The Western Cape Health Department said that this was primarily driven by cases recorded in the Garden Route district.

This week, President Cyril Ramaphosa also singled out the Garden Route as a hotspot when addressing the nation.

The Western Cape Health Department said that it was concerned about the increase in the number of cases in George, Knysna and Bitou, where the infection rate is around 32%.

Provincial Health head Dr Keith Cloete said on Thursday that there were 95 new cases in George, 38 in Bitou and 17 in Mossel Bay.

"There was an increase in cases in all the sub-districts excluding Kannaland. In the George area, specific areas include Thembalethu, Pacaltsdorp and Connville. In Knysna, it is everywhere and in Bitou and Plettenberg Bay it is starting and Kwanokothula is the main area of concern."

He said that there had also been a slight increase in the number of hospitalisations in the province, and in the Garden Route, including 74 hospital admissions, with 15 in critical care.

Cloete said that the department had intensified screening, testing, and contact tracing.

"The Garden Route has an excellent contact tracing system but now there is some strain. We've got to look at some additional capacity to assist them and then the multi-sectoral response, which includes health, the municipalities, law enforcement, education and the private sector."

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