Be smart, be safe and make the right choice this Easter
As we move towards Easter, it is important to carry on with the life-saving behaviour we have adopted over the last two years to ensure that we prevent COVID-9 infections, hospitalisation and death as much as possible. As we prepare for the Easter weekend, and with special emphasis on many family and religious gatherings, we should remind ourselves of some facts:
Emergency Centres are likely to be very busy during the Easter period:
Our Emergency Centres (EC’s) across the province see thousands of patients every weekend, and approximately 4500 – 6000 of these require hospitalisation. We have seen in the past that over Easter weekends these numbers tend to increase due to trauma cases presenting ranging from interpersonal violence such as stabbings, gunshots, gender-based violence, vehicle and pedestrian incidents.
As a result of prolonged COVID-19 pandemic the last two years, there may also be an increased number of patients with acute conditions, which could require emergency treatment. These include mental health, acute medical and surgical presentations for a range of chronic diseases (including acute cases of TB).
Our appeal this Easter weekend, is for you to help us to be able to help those in need of health care. Our ECs will be under routine pressure as people continue to need urgent care – let us all play our part in ensuring our hospitals are not overwhelmed by avoiding preventable trauma to us and our fellow person.
Many of us have been looking forward to this joyous occasion of Easter and spending time with our friends and family.
Here are a few simple things we can do to ensure a safer Easter:
1. Vaccinate against COVID-19
Although vaccination cannot prevent you from getting COVID-19 or being reinfected, it significantly reduces your chances of getting very sick. It also remains our best protection against hospitalisation and death due to COVID-19. Everyone 12 years and older can get the vaccine. During the weekend of 8 – 10 April there is another national “Vooma Weekend” with a number of extra sites which will be open. For information on where to vaccinate, please visit https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/vaccine/news for a vaccination site close to you.
2. Behave safely
Please use alcohol in a responsible manner: don’t drink and drive to prevent loss of life and avoid risky and violent behaviour that may lead to hospitalisation or worse. Also please keep up the safety behaviour that prevents COVID-19 infection such as being in uncontrolled and risky spaces (such as people not wearing masks).
3. Avoid crowded indoor places and ensure good ventilation
We know that the virus spreads through the air where people are gathered. Gather outdoors. If you cannot be outdoors, get as much fresh air as possible indoors by opening doors and windows and wear your mask. If you are using public transport or taxis, make sure you keep the windows open and wear your mask.
4. Manage chronic conditions
If you are a chronic patient, ensure you manage your condition by continue taking it as prescribed by your healthcare provider. This could prevent a trip to the emergency centre where waiting times could be very long during the Easter period.
Be smart, COVID-wise, be safe, and make the right choice this Easter weekend.