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Virus on the rise locally

Covid-19 has hit the Eastern Free State particularly hard in the last week.

According to data released by the Department of Health on Monday (22/06), the Free State had 772 confirmed cases, 9 deaths and 264 recoveries. Thabo Mofutsanyana had 105 confirmed cases on Monday, according to figures released by the Free State Department of Health.

These cases were spread as follows: Setsoto 7, Maluti-A-Phofung 57, Mantsopa 13, Dihlabeng 28, Nketoana 5 and Phumelela 1.

In Bethlehem at least two bussinesses had to close temporarily after employees had tested positive for the virus.

Tony Garces of the Three Rivers Multi Market in Muller Street confirmed on Friday (19/06) that the business could legally reopen the next day after a number of its employees had tested positive.

“Three Rivers has been fumigated and all the necessary documentation to reopen has been prepared. The staff working there have all tested negative for Covid-19,” Garces said in a statement.

“Staff tested positive for Covid-19 will only return to work after they test negative, following their 14 days of self-isolation.”

Garces confirmed that the other family business, Three Mountains in Church Street, continued to do business.

“There was no infection at that premises and they are allowed to trade as normal.”

Also, the premises of Enslins Auditors in Bethlehem had to be temporarily closed after five employees had tested positive. The office has since reopened.

Willie Kruger, director, said that his office became aware of the first case on Tuesday, 16 June.

According to Kruger, the contacts of employees who tested positive in turn all tested negative.

Karien Collett, spokesperson for Mediclinic Hoogland, said in a statement released on Monday that the hospital at that stage had three patients who tested positive.

“In strict accordance with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and National Department of Health protocols, Mediclinic Hoogland has implemented the necessary measures to manage any patients testing positive for the virus and to prevent any potential transmission in our facilities,” the statement read.

Should any suspected Covid-19 patients require medical support from Mediclinic Hoogland, Collett said, these patients would be accommodated in an isolation unit, where nursing staff are trained and equipped to manage the patient according to the level of care the illness requires.

The majority of cases testing positive are referred home for self-isolation, where they can recover in comfort, monitored telephonically by their primary healthcare provider.

“We continue to urge the public to take the necessary precautions by practising good hand hygiene and social distancing, as well as adhering to lockdown requirements,” Collett stated.

“We also encourage anyone experiencing signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever, sore throat and coughing, or who believe that they may have been exposed to the virus, to contact their healthcare provider.”

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