Sunday, 19 April 2020

Bloemfontein: The Free State Province has registered 102 Covid-19 positive cases from inception. The death tally in the Free State is now standing at 5.

Free State Province have registered the 5 deaths as follows:

  • 85 year old male from Bloemfontein;
  • 55 year old male from Bloemfontein;
  • 75 year old male from Bloemfontein;
  • 77 year old male from Bloemfontein. This was the first Covid-19 case that was discovered through a swabbing of the corpse; and
  • 69 year old male from Bloemfontein.

The above stated case of the 77 year old male whose corpse was swabbed after he had died, has prompted the Department to swab all corpses in order to ensure that they know for certain if anyone has died of Covid-19 which may not have been seen when the person was alive.

These is also done to ensure that the Department can trace all the contacts of the deceased in order to test them to eliminate uncertainty about the prevalence of Covid-19 amongst unsuspecting people. This is an added quality assurance towards the Department’s efforts of flattening the curve and curbing further transmissions.

The Department is delighted about the number of patients that are recovering from Covid-19. There is no cure yet for Covid-19, but the Free State Province has seen 74 patients fully recover and being released from health facilities to be with their families.

The Department is monitoring these patients regularly through their health professionals to ensure that they do not find themselves being re-infected.

The teams are diligently following the 28 Cases that are still Covid-19 positive. The Department remains cautiously optimistic that they will all be brought to full recovery. There are 5 patients that are still admitted at Pelonomi Hospital, whilst 23 are self-isolated.

The Free State Health Department has effected correction in their previous breakdown of the Provincial Statistics per region and this is as follows:

  • Mangaung is 89;
  • Fezile Dabi 3;
  • Lejweleputswa 1;
  • Thabo Mofutsanyana 8;
  • Xhariep 1;

The total is still 102

The determination to flatten the curve and curb Covid19 transmissions has seen a combination of strategies being implemented in the form of tracing contacts, screening and testing.

The total number of contacts of all people who were tested positive is a staggering 2165. This is broken down as follows per region:

  • Mangaung is at 1925 of which 1912 were successfully traced and 13 is still outstanding;
  • Fezile Dabi 34 and has successfully traced all contacts to the positive cases;
  • Thabo Mofutsanyana 192 and all their 192 contacts have been successfully traced;
  • Lejweleputswa 8; and
  • Xhariep 1

Screening and Testing are also very important elements of the efforts of health workers in the fight against Covid19. As the Door to Door Mass Screening is being rolled out to all of the 5 regions of the province, the Department has managed to screen a total of 241 629 with 1460 people being tested.

This process has targeted all the hotspots of the province as directed by the efforts of the Tracer Teams and the Digital Mapping exercise that was done in collaboration with Cellphone companies.

  • In Mangaung 54 304 people were screened and 707 were tested;
  • In Fezile Dabi 76 271 were screened and 74 were tested;
  • In Lejweleputswa 20 144 have been screened and 136 were tested;
  • In Thabo Mofutsanyana 68 338 have been screened whilst 139 were tested; and
  • In Xhariep 22 572 have been screened whilst 129 have been tested

“This is war and we are determined to fight and win it. Our delight is derived from the levels of dedication that we see from multidisciplinary health professionals, allied health workers, support staff and partners that we have assembled in our Command Operation Centre’s in the Province, Districts and in Mass Screening Sites and Door to Door work.” said Free State MEC for Health, Montseng Tsiu.

“These dedicated public servants are in the frontlines of the war against Covid19, they have dedicated their time and are sparing no effort. They spend most of their time working on the different elements of this enormous task at hand. We can’t thank them enough for the love they are displaying towards their fellow humans. We pray that their effort will soon yield results of a Covid19 Free – Free State.” said a buoyant Tsiu.

Tsiu continues to plead with Free Staters not to stigmatize people that test positive but rather to cheer them on for their good health seeking behavior. Anyone who tests positive needs the support of their family and the moral support of the entire community. This virus knows no race, gender, religion, social class and any other classification.

It is important therefore to Stay at Home and observe the lockdown regulations whilst aiding the efforts of screening and testing.

Tsiu has further emphasized the need for adherence to basic hygiene good practices such as frequently washing your hands with running water and soap for at least 20 seconds, covering your cough and sneeze, observing social distance of at least 1 metre.

To always wear a washable cloth mask when you are not a health worker and avoid wearing gloves when you are not a health worker. Tsiu says that wearing gloves prevents people from washing their hands and sanitizing as frequently as they should because they think the gloves are protecting them.

“Please follow these simple and basic practices that can save lives.” she concluded.