COVID-19 Garden Route Update

COVID-19 Garden Route Update

Media Release
16 October 2020

We would like to thank the residents of the Garden Route for helping us to stay safe by wearing your masks, washing your hands often, and keeping a distance from others. Please continue to remain vigilant to prevent a possible second wave.

“It has been 7 long months of lockdown and the natural reaction to the easing up of these restrictions are to catch up on all that we have missed out on over the past months but we can’t become complacent now. It has always been feared that when the lockdown restrictions ease up, the infection rate would increase. We have unfortunately already seen a 196% increase in covid-19 cases in the district over the past 14 days. (This increase is compared to the previous 14 day-period). We know how quickly the virus can spread and now is the time that we must do our utmost best to prevent or contain a second wave,” said Garden Route District Director for Health, Mr Zee Brickles.

“We as individuals, members of families and communities, are responsible for ensuring that we protect ourselves and keep those near and dear to us, safe at all times. We should ask ourselves in every situation how we can make it safer for ourselves and our loved ones, knowing that we can easily and unknowingly pass the virus on or take it home to our families. Remember to wash your hands regularly, wear your mask when you are in public spaces and avoid large gatherings”.

It is very importing that you avoid possible super-spreader events, such as crowded places, poorly ventilated spaces, and close contact with others.

Reintroduction of Services

The Department’s risk and impact-based approach is guiding the services to be reintroduced – identifying those services which have low risk yet high impact (such as Diabetes, Hypertension, HIV, TB, Child, and Women’s health (including immunizations)). These services which had reduced significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, will have a significant long-term impact for those clients who had missed immunisations, follow-up appointments and scheduled non-emergency treatment.

While elective surgeries are slowly being re-escalated, life-saving surgeries (such as cancer surgeries and urgent cardiac surgeries) will be prioritised with the more urgent cases being dealt with first. However, emergency surgeries have not stopped and will also continue.

Awareness drive campaign

The Department realises the need to continue with normal activities such as going back to work and using public transport. We also need to make sure that we are looking after our health.

In order to ensure that this happens, the Department is currently embarking on an awareness drive at places of gathering and within communities to get residents to take up basic health services again, with a focus on general health, well-being, and ongoing care for vulnerable groups. Be on the lookout for this campaign within malls, taxis, while waiting at the bus shelter and when washing your hands in washrooms at malls.

This awareness drive also includes reminding residents that the best way to keep us moving forward is to wear a mask, keep our hands clean and keep at least a 1.5 metre distance from other people.

Stats as from 16 October 2020

Sub-district Total Active Recovered Died
Hessequa 332 5 309 18
Mossel Bay 2 452 63 2 320 69
George 3 690 113 3 467 110
Knysna 1 584 9 1 526 49
Bitou 650 10 616 24
Kannaland 133 10 122 1
Oudtshoorn 1 533 82 1 353 98
TOTAL 10 374 292 9 713 369


From the latest information to our disposal we can confirm that 37 patients are receiving care in both public and private hospitals.

For more information visit:


Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health