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17 July 2020 Media Release: Garden Route Health Platform Update – 17 July 2020

Media Release: Garden Route Health Platform Update 

17 July 2020
For Immediate Release

 As of 17 July 2020, the Garden Route District has 3339 confirmed cases of Covid-19.


Garden Route cases and recoveries per subdistrict.

Bitou 229 cases; 107 recoveries
Knysna 509 cases; 259 recoveries
George 1532 cases; 853 recoveries
Hessequa 60 cases; 34 recoveries
Kannaland 35 cases; 18 recoveries
Mossel Bay 722 cases; 324 recoveries
Oudsthoorn 252 cases; 89 recoveries

The Garden Route has recorded 73 Covid-19 deaths.

Hessequa 2
Mossel Bay 9
George 35
Knysna 11
Bitou 8
Oudtshoorn 8


There are currently 88 patients admitted in public and private hospitals with 17 in High Care/ICU.

Community Testing and Screening

The approach to active Covid-19 case finding within the rural areas remain that of community testing and screening with a focus on people > 55 years, the vulnerable and those of high risk (people with co-morbidities). To date 137 385 people have been screened and 1007 referred for testing.

Isolation and quarantine

Isolation facilities are for patients with mild to moderate symptoms where they can recover from Covid-19 (usually 14 days) and quarantine facilities are for those awaiting test results. These facilities are safe and comfortable and you will receive free transport, meals, and a laundry service. People who cannot isolate or quarantine safely at home, can be referred to a isolation or quarantine facility.

PetroSA (West Camp) is currently the only activated isolation and quarantine facility in the Garden Route. More facilities will be announced, if and when the need arises or capacity is exceeded at PetroSA. We currently have 80 people at West Camp.

Primary healthcare                  

Our Primary Health Care platform is an important vehicle to support our health system, so that our patients are well cared for to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Although we advise patients to only visit their nearest clinic for essential services we remind parents and caregivers that services such as immunisations are still rendered. It is important to attend all your confirmed appointments. Services such as women’s health(family planning, antenatal and post-natal care), child health(immunisations) and TB, are still rendered. Stable chronic care patients must collect their chronic medicine at the chronic off-sites. Should you require guidance or advice around your current treatment or scheduled appointment, please contact your clinic/hospital.

Shielding the vulnerable

Persons over the age of 55 or have a chronic condition are at risk for severe COVID-19 illness and should take extra precautions to protect themselves by following these steps:

  1. Avoid getting the virus by staying home, wear a mask (when you have to go out), wash hands regularly and disinfect surfaces
  2. Look after your health by following a healthy lifestyle and take your medication regularly
  3. Get help immediately if you do not feel well
  4. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, go for immediate testing, do not delay

The Department has implemented an action plan for Diabetics with COVID symptoms which includes expanding testing for diabetics who represent a high risk group. Our current data suggests that these patients are presenting or are being admitted too late in a very sick conditions, which has dire outcomes.

Next 100 days

The Department has identified the next 100 days as crucial to refocusing the health system and health services while still managing the pandemic with continued interventions to increase immunisation coverage, TB treatment and ART uptake.

We urge all citizens to remain careful in observing the essential 5 Golden Rules of hygiene and safety. It remains important to take particular care of persons with underlying conditions and particularly Diabetes, who are at significantly increased risk of severe COVID-19. We urge these people to really take special care and to shield themselves from exposure where possible.

The protection of our most vulnerable loved ones remains in our collective hands.


Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Town Clinic,Plettenberg Bay
Tel: 044 5333846

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