People will have to learn to live daily alongside the invisible “enemy”, the coronavirus.
“All this while doing everything to save lives and at the same time save the economy – a balancing act that is not easy, but one cannot always hibernate and live off of food parcels,” said Deputy President. David Mabuza on Friday in Bloemfontein on his Free State Covid 19 surveillance visit.
There are now 314 Covid-19 cases in the Free State.
Mabuza said he represented Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa and the National Board of Commissioners to determine how ready the province is at level 3 of the containment, as well as for a possible “storm” or spike in new cases that the province may hit in July, August, or only September.
“I come to assess the province’s response plan for combating Covid-19, and found out that there are still towns with water problems and what water will have to find.”
Mabuza agreed with Dr. Joe Phaahla, Deputy Minister of Health, who said on the occasion that the country could not afford another province like the Western Cape is in trouble.
Phaahla said the Western Cape is currently asking billions of rand from the national government to combat the disease, and the hospitals there are barely full with Covid-19 patients.
“We’re simply not going to have the money to support everyone like that, and the second province where the disease is showing a major upswing is the Eastern Cape,” says Phaahla.
He expressed the hope that the breathing machines and other emergency equipment purchased for the Free State would not be “white elephants”.
Mabuza, who spoke with other speakers at the Central University of Technology (CUT), said people should keep themselves safe throughout.
“When we travel, be at home, practice our religion, go shopping or be at work. We will have to wear masks, disinfect our hands regularly and maintain a healthy distance from others. ”
Mabuza said he would like to congratulate Sisi Ntombela, the Free State Prime Minister, the provincial command council on the virus, and the Free State Health Department with what has already been achieved.
“The Free State is doing extremely well. Under the leadership of the prime minister, 61% of the province’s population was screened and almost 99% of contacts who were in contact with the positive cases were detected.
“The strong point of the province is the contact detection, and after the five foreigners brought the disease to the province in Bloemfontein, the 77 contacts that were detected could be tested and isolated.
“At one stage we thought there would be a major outbreak in the province, which is centrally located, and from where it can spread to the rest of the country. But that didn’t happen, thanks to relentless contact tracking and even digital mapping, mass scans and testing, and the isolation of those tested positive. “
He said that while it was still too soon for people to get involved, he wanted to praise the political leadership in the province, as well as the Free State health workers for the dedication they are dealing with the challenges.
“You have to keep up the good work because the fight is far from over, especially now that it’s winter.”
Mabuza also expressed sympathy on behalf of the government with the families of the nine people who had already died of the virus in the Free State. This comes after another resident, an 84-year-old Bethulie woman, died on Thursday.
- Later that day, Mabuza, along with Ntombela, handed out certificates in Bophelo House, head of the Free State Health Department, to some of the 1,000 additional nurses and 92 social workers now employed in the Free State in the fight against Covid-19.
- Mabuza also visited Universitas Hospital to look at the readiness of the specially equipped high-care unit for Covid-19 patients.