Dear Friends Of Montagu And Concerned Montaguers

Dear Friends Of Montagu And Concerned Montaguers

17 March 2020

Panic causes anxiety, weakens the immune system and inhibits creative thinking. The crisis we're causing surrounding this issue can cause more damage, more economic harm, more wealth destruction and ultimately even more deaths than the virus itself. On Sunday evening President Ramaphosa addressed the nation in a very serious tone - declared a National State of Disaster and a long list of actions taken to try and contain the Virus and the impact of the Virus.

This left many a little shell-shocked and there have been numerous emergency meetings since yesterday morning. Now we are indeed well-informed from many angles and we're happy to answer your main concerns. The first and most important step to take is to get yourself informed - because with the full picture and context, this virus scare is not half as scary as it is for the uniformed. We will release information and specific related answers for frequently asked questions on a regular basis.

Get your information from the following reliable Online Sources:

The official Montagu-Ashton Tourism Association Facebook page will only post reliable information and will endeavour to answer any questions as a matter of urgency. Please note: No other Montagu Facebook page is related to our tourism office.

NICD Hotline for the Public: 0800 029 999 or 021 928 4102 / Whatsapp 0600 123456

Secondly we understand that many businesses will be affected with this recent decision of Government.

As a Tourism town, we feel the pain and we know we need to rally together in support of each other to survive this phase.

As for Foreign Visitors - all those already in the country is welcome to stay - take a break and even self-isolate in a town filled with wide open spaces, fresh air and sunshine.

For Locals - the Country air and peace and tranquillity might just be the answer to strengthen your immune system, now that it is much needed.

This mornings' briefing by the Department of Health - it was again pointed out:

• The virus can remain infectious on a surface "from hours to days" (CDC, 2020), with survival being shorter in hot, dry environments or in direct sunlight.

• The coronavirus is also sensitive to hot and dry conditions and to direct sunlight.

The solution for lower risk of infection is thus - outside- fresh air, sunshine - everything Montagu has to offer.

MATA and members are collaboratively working on Marketing angles for this trying times - but we KNOW that we're blessed with all that Mother Nature has:

• Mountains (of the highest in South Africa)

• Water (Breede River- largest in the WC)

• Sun with all his healing properties (all year round)

• Plant life (from Roses to Succulents and everything in between)

• Healing Herbal Heritage

• Agricultural Variety (Vineyards, Fruit and more..)

• Sundried fruit that has its own healing properties and building strong immune systems

• 4 Distinctly beautiful seasons

Mother Nature blessed us - we're always ready to share our blessings - even when an entire world is in panic mode - we give you the opportunity to come and relax, reflect and heal. Montagu is open for business, but taking all the necessary precautions and remember, NO COVID-19 INFECTIONS IN MONTAGU YET.

Thirdly - there is a concern about getting sick and what is available. After this morning's briefing at The Montagu Hospital - it became obvious that our Department of Health is ready and following strict steps to stay in control of the possible panic and overcrowding of Health facilities. There is no anti-virus yet, thus treatment is only for symptoms when severe - like respiratory problems. Testing is only for those that fill the current criteria of Persons Under Investigation. (e.g. Show the symptoms of respiratory strain, travelled recently or had direct contact with someone that travelled recently)

Who should be tested?

• Presently, the only persons who should undergo testing for SARS-CoV-2 are those described above under Person Under Investigation (PUI). This case definition will change as the situation develops.

• The test will be free of charge for patients meeting the case definition as above.

• If the patient has medical aid, refer them for testing at a private lab, as far as possible, to save state resources. Pathcare is now able to test for SARS-CoV-2.

Lastly - but most likely the most important to remember:

Waves of fear rapidly consumed the world and left many feeling overwhelmed by what is Upon us. But we've faced trying times before and we've always became a better version of ourselves through these challenges.

The way we make it through this time is by making our decisions out of love and understanding, not allowing ourselves to fall into the clutches of fear.

Look after one another. Support Local. Help each other. Innovate and re-think. Rest and reset. Do what works for you and your loved ones while understanding the bigger co-dependence of our amazing resilient community.

Respect everyone's opinion, but do help him access the truth and the facts. Help those who cannot help themselves - care for the elderly and the poor.

Some Good News and Hope

China has closed down its last coronavirus hospital. Not enough new cases to support them.