The Free State now has 17 deaths due to the deadly Covid-19.
Meanwhile, both large government buildings in Bloemfontein, the OR Tambo and Fidel Castro buildings, were closed on Monday after staff tested positive for the virus and the buildings must now be disinfected.
On Monday, Montseng Tsiu, Health MEC, warned that coronavirus disease is increasing in all five districts.
Tsiu says in one of the latest cases, a couple in Pellissier were both tested positive for the disease while their elderly mother from Fichardt Park also showed symptoms. Health workers were sent to assist them.
According to Tsiu, one of the latest cases is a student of HTS Louis Botha in Bloemfontein who was sent home and had to be tested after showing symptoms.
The departments of health and education also assisted the private Calculus College in Bloemfontein on Monday where a student was tested positive. The school’s pupils in Gr. 4 to gr. 6 will be scanned at 9am, those in gr. 0 to gr. 3 at 10:00 and those in Gr. 7 to gr. 12 at 11:00.
Tsiu says the Free State government’s budget is being adjusted to allow for the spending of the Covid 19 pandemic.
A field hospital with beds will be set up on the grounds of the Flower Show and will be ready by mid-July.
Insulation facilities are also provided at various other Free State public hospitals. It is located in the underground parking area of Universitas Hospital, in Pelonomi Hospital’s Mangcofs Building, at Albert Nzula Hospital in Trompsburg, Bongani Hospital in Welkom and Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad, as well as at the Dihlabeng Hospital in Bethlehem.
“We buy beds and appoint more doctors, nurses and cleaners.”
She says all the facilities should be ready by mid-July.
Government building closed
Meanwhile, government spokesman Setjhaba Mapalla announced that the OR Tambo government building, which houses senior members of the Free State government such as the prime minister and members of its executive council, also had to close on Monday over the first confirmed case of Covid-19 here.
“All staff were asked immediately to leave the building so it could be closed for deep cleaning and disinfection until Wednesday.”
He said staff are expected to be back on Thursday. This is after the necessary contact detections and scans have been done.
A worker of the Thusong service center in Trompsburg in the Xhariep district was also tested positive. The building was also closed and the staff sent home, Mapalla says.
This follows the temporary closure of the Fidel Castro building over the weekend after a Department of Education official tested positive. This building also houses staff from the Prime Minister’s Office and other government departments.
This building can be opened on Tuesday depending on how the disinfection is progressing.
The provincial government apologizes for the inconvenience caused.
“The government also wants to request that everyone who has been in contact with the affected cases remain calm.”
• According to Sunday’s provincial government statistics, there are 961 confirmed cases in the Free State with 17 deaths and 385 patients already recovering.
This includes 357 confirmed cases in the Mangaung district (335 in Bloemfontein, 15 in Botshabelo, five in Thaba Nchu and two in Naledi).
Fezile Dabi (Northern Free State) bordering Gauteng now has the second most confirmed cases (170) of the five Free State districts.
Thabo Mofutsanyana (Eastern Free State) is third with 143 confirmed cases. Then followed Leweleputswa (Western Free State) with 137 cases and Xhariep (Southern Free State) with 136.