FS Health mum on sharp increase in #CoronavirusFS death toll

The Free State Health Department is tight-lipped on the significant jump in its coronavirus death toll this week.

OFM News reports that according to the National Health Department’s Covid-19 figures, the province’s death toll jumped from 63 confirmed deaths to 154 within a day earlier this week. The department is yet to respond to OFM News’ questions on the matter, probing possible delays in reporting that could explain the jump.

While there is no provincial picture indicating where in the Free State these deaths are occurring, the department has been far more transparent and forthcoming with regards to the overall case numbers. Regular updates pertaining to overall case numbers are provided on a region by region basis via the department’s social media platforms.

Meanwhile, the very same social media platforms are being used by members of the public to disseminate information regarding the situation at various hospitals. Nearly two weeks ago, the department released a statement declaring the voicenote going around via Whatsapp, alleging the situation at Mediclinic Bloemfontein is dire, as misinformation.

The department’s spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, said at the time that the hospital was not as overburdened as indicated, in fact at that stage, the hospital had reported four deaths from coronavirus complications and 65 positive patients spread across the general ward, a dedicated Covid-19 ward, the maternity ward and the intensive care unit at the private hospital. Mvambi said contrary to the voicenote, Mediclinic remains operational and the situation is not as bleak as purported in the voicenote.

“The Mediclinic hospital in Bloemfontein is open and fully operational. The hospital reports all Covid-19 cases and their management to the Provincial Covid-19 Surveillance and Monitoring Team of the Free State Department of Health,” said Mvambi.

To date, the Free State reported 18 134 overall coronavirus cases, 2 178 recoveries and 154 deaths.