Whilst South Africans are relieved to be on level one of the COVID-19 lockdown, urgent calls are being made to remind members of the public not to drop their guard, and to continue taking the necessary precautions (masks, social distancing, hand-sanitising) to minimise the danger of a second wave.
Internationally it seems the battle against this unprecedented pandemic is far from over as we see infections increasing at an alarming rate in the USA, UK and Europe.
Whilst first world countries may have the wherewithal to survive another period of intense lockdown, there’s no denying the devastating effect such an event would have on South Africa’s already embattled economy. Particularly in the Garden Route, where a higher level of lockdown would pretty much turn off the local tourism tap which could have otherwise have meant a busy December season.
Says Western Cape Premier Alan Winde “The golden rules of hygiene remain our best defense against COVID-19. It is important that we all continue to do everything we can to prevent the further spread of the virus. The recent incidents we have experienced in some areas in the province must serve as a caution that we cannot let our guard down. Simple behavioural changes can help us to slow the spread of the virus. Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water, or cleaning them with sanitiser, the correct wearing of a mask and practising social distancing are the best defense we have against the virus until such time as a vaccine is found and made widely available.”
He adds that masks must be worn correctly- covering both the nose and the mouth, emphasising that they must be washed daily and put on and removed with clean hands.
“When you are out in public places or around other people, social distancing remains important. Keep a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and any other person, and do not frequent places or businesses where large crowds are allowed to gather and where ventilation is poor,” he advises.
“The citizens of this province have been remarkable in helping us to fight this virus, and I understand that there is some Covid fatigue. I however appeal to everyone to continue to fight with us to ensure that we protect ourselves and our loved ones, and allow us all to move forward safely,” the Premier concludes.
As of 1pm, Monday, the Garden Route Municipal area had on record to date 10530 cases of COVID, 9811 of which have recovered. Knysna’s total is 1593 (1524 recovered), and George 3735 (3484 recovered).
Let’s do what we can to keep these numbers as low as possible.