The Western Cape Department of Health has updated its restrictions on hospital visitations in line with adjusted Level One lockdown.
The adjusted Level One restrictions were announced at the beginning of the month. Under the adjusted restrictions, visitors and escorts are only allowed at health facilities under special circumstances and will still be screened at the entrance of the facility.
In a statement the Provincial Health Department said: “During the third wave and level 3 restrictions, Western Cape Government Health had to restrict visitation at hospitals to align with regulations and to reduce the number of people in our facilities at a time. However, we firmly believe that being visited by their loved ones is an important part of a patient’s road to recovery. It is also essential to family who are anxious about the wellbeing of their loved one and wants to visit them in hospital. We also understand that it is also reassuring for young patients or the elderly to have an escort present when visiting the emergency room or outpatients’ department.”
The amended visitation guidelines include:
- One escort is only allowed for paediatric, disabled, vulnerable, or weak patients.
- Emergency Unit:
- Paediatric patients – one escort allowed to accompany the patient into the emergency room.
- Terminal patients – family members allowed to be present, but only one or two family members allowed to be present at a time.
- Disabled/vulnerable patients – one escort may be allowed depending on the situation. Will be assessed on a case-to-case basis.
- All other patients: One escort will remain in the waiting room if there is sufficient space.
- Inpatients (adults):
- Limited to 30 minutes visitation per visitor.
- Visiting time slot of 60 minutes per ward per day. Confirm with the hospital what the ward’s visiting hours are before visiting.
- Terminally ill patients are allowed to be visited by loved ones. Restricted to 30 min per person per day – more people and longer time at the discretion of ward manager.
- Critically ill patients are allowed one designated visitor once per day.
- Inpatients (paediatric):
- One parent/caregiver can be with the patient.
- Parent/caregiver can alternate with other parents/caregivers, but only one is allowed with the patient at a time.
- More family members allowed for terminal patients for 30 minutes, one person at a time. More people and longer time slots at the discretion of the ward manager.
- Neonatal patients:
- Mother can remain with the patient or regularly visit.
- Birthing partner or one designated person can visit daily for 30 minutes. Longer visitation at discretion of ward manager.
- Maternity & labour:
- COVID-19 positive patients in labour – no birthing partners allowed.
- COVID-19 negative patients in labour – one birthing partner during active labour if sufficient space and privacy are available.
- C-section: Birthing partners are not allowed in theatre but can visit mother and baby for 30 minutes in the postnatal ward.
- Teenagers in labour: A birthing partner will be accommodated at the discretion of the ward manager.
- Post-natal ward: Birthing partner allowed to visit mother and newborn for 30 minutes per day during visiting period.
- COVID-19 and PUI patients:
- No visitors are allowed.
- Can drop off parcels (toiletries, food, books, etc.)
- Exceptions will be made for terminally ill patients.
The Department of Health reiterated that all patients and visitors are to maintain safety precautions including wearing a mask over their mouth and nose, maintaining a physical distance and washing or sanitising their hands regularly.
The Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla has announced that from Wednesday 20 October, children between the ages of 12-17 years old will be able to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.
South Africa’s vaccination programme started in February with the Sisonke study which saw healthcare workers receive the Covid-19 vaccine first, then slowly other age groups were allowed to get their jab, culminating in any over 12 years old now being eligible for the jab.
There are a few useful things to remember:
- There are 6 million children aged between 12 and 17 years old in South Africa
- 12-17-year-olds will only receive one dose of the Pfizer vaccine
- According to the Child Act, children 12 years and older are able to make health care decisions without the consent of their parents, guardian or caregiver.
- Teenagers will be able to access public and private vaccination sites.
- The Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) will be updated before 20 October to allow for teenagers to register for the Covid-19 vaccine and also report any possible side effects.
- No one can be intimidated when it comes to choosing to be vaccinated, it is a voluntary health care programme – similarly, no one can be stopped from gaining access to health care.
Phaahla said that they have taken every precaution before authorising this cohort to get their jab. He made reference to international research which showed it was far safer for over 12’s to only receive one jab of the Pfizer vaccine. “We can assure parents and young people that even where [cases of myocarditis] have been noticed, there has been no permanent risk. We’re just taking precaution in this case,” said Joe Phaahla.
America, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Norway, China and India are already successfully vaccinated teenagers 12 years and older.
Franschhoek has set its sites on becoming the first town in South Africa to reach herd immunity against Covid-19.
The Franschhoek Wine Valley depends on tourism and has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
The many wine farms and tourist attractions in the town are reliant on international and domestic travelers.
The Department of Health has only granted two vaccination dates per month to Franschhoek which won’t help to reach the intended deadline.
Franschhoek Tourism says that to reach herd immunity a minimum of 960 people need to be vaccinated per day, which unfortunately comes at a hefty price tag, and has to be funded solely by them.
The daily projected cost of R37 600 would be needed to fund marshals, coordinators, and cleaners, amongst others, as well as their meals and transport to and from the relevant vaccination sites. The team involved would like to have this completed within 16 days from the date of implementation, at a total cost of R660 000.
This is in an effort to boost the faster return of international visitors to the region, and more importantly, stimulate Franschhoek’s employment growth. An initiative that has the full support of the Western Cape Government and Wesgro.
The Western Cape government has called for the province to be moved to Alert Level 1 of the lockdown as active Covid-19 cases have decreased and the province is on the cusp of exiting the third wave of the pandemic. Many towns, similar to Franschhoek are heavily dependent on tourism revenue.
To reach its herd vaccination target, Franschhoek Tourism has set up a GoFundMe account and interested members of the public or corporations can donate to this worthy cause. You can donate here
Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout, who is a resident in the West Coast District of the Western Cape, received her vaccination today at the Wesbank Community Hall in Malmesbury.
Premier Alan Winde says Tannie Evita is helping to send an important message to residents across the province that the vaccine is safe and that it offers excellent protection against severe COVID-19 related illness and death.
“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Tannie Evita for once again leading from the front in our country. This, of course, is not the first time she has helped with important health awareness campaigns, having been a powerful advocate for HIV awareness and education. I admire her dedication, and I am personally a very big fan!”
Tannie Evita said: “Yes, I am so very relieved to get my vaccine. But I have a smartphone. I have a computer. I have internet. I have a car. I am 85 and I still drive myself. But many, many of my generation and younger don’t know how to register. So if you know how and someone doesn’t – please help them to register. And if you don’t know, then ask someone to help you. My son De Kock registered me; I couldn’t get the little blue letters on the screen to turn black. This is why we do need to be able to cope with walk-ins and information in all eleven languages. And I was so pleased to hear Premier Alan Winde and the Western Cape Government responding to this obvious need to manage and to allow walk-ins.”
This week, the Western Cape will increase the number of public vaccination service points to over 137 which includes, public and private sites, as well as temporary outreaches to places like old age homes.
Hundreds of sites will open across the Western Cape:
• 48 sites in the Overberg District
• 48 sites in the Cape Winelands District
• 14 sites in the Central Karoo District
• 53 sites in the West Coast District, and
• 41 sites in the Garden Route District
If you know someone who is over 60 and needs help to register, please do your best to assist. It will take just 6 minutes of your time.
Registration is simple and can be done by:
• visiting https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/#/ or www.westerncape.gov.za
• dialing *134*832# and follow the prompts (FREE on all South African Networks); or
• WhatsApp the word REGISTER to 0600 123456.
The Western Cape vaccinated almost 1000 people on day one of Phase 2 yesterday, with health teams going to old age homes, including a small number of people at vaccination sites and health workers.
From next week more vaccination sites will be coming online.
A retired nurse yesterday became the first eligible non-health worker in the Western Cape to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The 61 year old Mara Majiedt worked at Tygerberg Hospital for just over 40 years and ended her public service in 2018. She received her vaccination, along with her husband, at the Brackenfell Vaccination Centre and wore a special mask to mark the occasion.
Her mask featured a picture of her friend, who she says was one of the first healthcare workers who passed away due to COVID-19. Majiedt says she got the shot to protect her family.
Elderly add their voice of support to the vaccine:
Another resident, Lillian Slamat, has encouraged elderly residents to consider vaccination. The Elsies River resident was among the oldest residents to be vaccinated in the Western Cape. “Tannie Lilly,” aged 90, says she had no nerves before getting her jab at the Karl Bremer Hospital Vaccination Centre.
“I am taking the vaccine today to protect myself. I would encourage others to take the injection as well, it’s something good and will help you. I was not nervous, but I was up at 3am which is my normal time to wake up. You could say I was excited.”
Belhar resident Jean Arnold, 69, was the second resident who received her vaccination at the Karl Bremer Vaccination Centre. “You go for a flu injection, so why can’t you take the COVID-19 vaccine? The vaccine is here to protect us. I didn’t sleep too much, I was excited.”
Bellville resident, Ernest Adonis, 78, described the vaccination as “something good,” after receiving his jab.“It was good for me. I think the vaccine will be good for our people, it’s like the flu vaccine. I advise every elderly person to get vaccinated.”
Registering to receive the vaccine is easy
- Western Cape Government Health encourages all persons 60 years and older to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).
- Dial *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
The public is urged to only visit vaccination facilities once their appointments have been confirmed. This will ensure that everyone is assisted and gets vaccinated.