Hotspot Awareness increased for Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp in George

The Western Cape Provincial Government uses a dashboard to track the number of reported Covid-19 positive cases which updated on a daily basis.

The dashboard shows the number of tests done, deaths reported, and the number of recoveries and categorizes the Western Cape districts by the number of infections, monitoring the trends in infections, deaths, and recoveries. Based on the heat mapping derived from this dashboard the Western Cape and Garden Route District Covid -19 Command Centre together with George Municipality is able to identify localized areas as “hotspots” – these are areas where the rate of infection has increased dramatically through community transmission.

The National Government and Western Cape Government have developed hotspot strategies aimed at reducing community transmission of COVID-19, and the morbidity and mortality of vulnerable people. The premise is to get people to stay at home unless necessary to travel, to maintain physical distance outside the home, to always use a mask, and to maintain hygiene. The awareness is coupled with the targeted screening and testing of vulnerable people. Various hotspots have been identified in the Western Cape including the Cape Winelands, the West Coast, Overberg, the Garden Route, Tygerberg, Khayelitsha, Klipfontein, Mitchells Plain, and parts of the Cape Flats. Within the Garden Route localized hotspots have been identified in Knysna, Mossel Bay, and in George – specifically Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp.

A dedicated multi-disciplinary task team has been established to give special attention to those communities showing high rates of transmission of infection and to address the adherence to the Covid-19 regulations and health protocols in general. The awareness methods utilized by the multidisciplinary Covid-19 task team led by  George Municipality include the use of a trailer banner which will move around to different streets within an area and the erection of lamp pole posters. These are supplemented by community radio advertising campaigns, outreaches including radio outside broadcasts, the handing out of flyers, and an active social media campaign. Besides the dedicated awareness campaign, the sanitization and disinfection of public areas are regularly undertaken by GRDM together with outreach programmes implemented by their EHP officials on an ongoing basis.

The public can access the following link to review the statistics per town and per suburb: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard

Criticism of the targeted awareness is noted on social media and it is important to stress that this is not about stigmatizing a particular area. This is being done to protect the community members living in that area. To ensure that they are aware that there is a high infection rate within their area and that they need to take extra care to keep themselves and their families safe.

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