Keep safe during the third wave

Seniors have been receiving the vaccine across the prov

Grassy Park, Retreat and Wynberg are among the areas which the health department has identified as neighbourhoods of concern as the province faces a third wave of Covid-19 infections.

Other areas that have also seen a spike are Claremont, Plumstead, Rondebosch, the City Centre, Sea Point, Parklands, Milnerton, Woodstock and Pinelands.

With the province officially in its third wave of Covid-19 infections the department has once again made a plea to residents to be safe and take all the necessary precautions and for those who can register for vaccinations – to do so soonest.

With winter upon us and temperatures dropping, people will be spending more time indoors where chances of infection are higher if you’re among large groups of people.

The health department’s regional spokesperson Natalie Watlington said: “We must all stand together to beat the third wave of the coronavirus. We can do this by understanding how coronavirus spreads and keeping up our good habits.”

With the rise in cluster outbreaks, the department has advised against social gatherings as they can spike infections.

Ms Watlington said most of these outbreaks did not stem from mass events, but from smaller social gatherings such as family or friend gatherings, funerals, sporting events, braais and other similar events.

The province’s vaccine drive has continued despite setbacks relating to national vaccine supply. Between Monday May 17 and Thursday June 10 the province received over 245 000 vaccines and by Thursday June 17 June over 93 percent of these vaccines were administered to 229 667 people.

Over 91 000 health workers were also vaccinated in Phase 1, bringing the combined total of people vaccinated in the province to 321 399.

This week just over 49 000 vaccines will be administered.

There are 155 active vaccination sites and those going online in the Southern Mail’s distribution area includes Lotus River CDC on Friday June 25 and Retreat CHC on Saturday July 3.

There will also be a pop-up registration drive for residents in Grassy Park and surrounds on Tuesday Wednesday June 29 and 30 at the Fairview Primary School. Any resident over the age of 60, in need of support can access the registration site from the entrance in Second Avenue, Grassy Park.

You can register at no cost by using the USSD service by dialling *134*832# from your phone to start the registration process or send the word “REGISTER” to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp, or visit http://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za. You can also access this link on our website, www.westerncape.gov.za.

Ms Watlington said even if residents were not attending social gatherings but were in contact with people outside of their family bubble, there was a risk of infection. “Because of the increase in case numbers, your chances of coming into contact with a person who has Covid-19 is now much greater than it was a few weeks ago if you went to a gathering, shopping, eating out and were not being safe. If we want to curb the size and intensity of the third wave, our behaviour must change.”

Stop the spread

  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Avoid social gatherings which are outside your immediate household
  • If you need to go out, always wear your mask
  • If you need to meet up, keep it outdoors, small and short
  • When gathering indoors, dress warmly and ensure the windows are open so your space is well ventilated with fresh air.
  • If you are sick, stay at home.

Vaccination is not a bulletproof vest

While the vaccine gives great protection against severe illness and death, it does not offer a guarantee that you will not contract (or transmit) Covid-19.

So even if you have been vaccinated, and do not practise the necessary safety measures, you can still contract the virus, albeit a mild disease. It is therefore crucially important that we continue to adhere to the golden rules of keeping safe as set out above.

If you have Covid-19 symptoms you must isolate for 10 days. This way you ensure you protect yourself and not place anyone else at risk of contracting the virus.