FS takes localised approach to Covid

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Premier Sefora "Sisi" Ntombela PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

Premier Sisi Ntombela said that the provincial government will take an even more localised approach to curbing more infections as the second wave sweeps across the country.

“In order to deal with the second wave of the virus, we have taken the collective decision as a province to establish and empower functional municipal Covid-19 War-Room Committees in all municipalities to assist the province in dealing with the virus,” she said.

“There is a high demand on municipalities to be in the frontline of this war, since their constituencies are vulnerable targets. Our municipalities, moving forward, will have to reconsider and discuss their roles and participation as a collective within the District Development Model in the quest to prepare and prevent further infection. The time to act is now!”

Mangaung remains the region in the Free State with the highest number of Covid-19 infections at over 30 000 reported cases, Bloemfontein being the most affected area. This is according to Health MEC Montseng Tsiu during her provincial Covid-19 update on Wednesday.

“Mangaung Metro remains the leading region with the highest infections standing at 30 677. The most affected area is Bloemfontein, standing at 23 938, followed by Botshabelo at 3 322, Thaba Nchu at 2 788 and Naledi at 629. However, taking the population distribution in Mangaung into account, the distribution of infections is proportional to the population,” she said.

Currently there are about 600 Covid-19 related admissions in hospitals, having had almost 10 000 hospitalisations since the virus outbreak last year. “The cumulative data is: we have had 9 542 hospital admissions to date in the province and currently we have 636 hospitalised patients,” Tsiu explained. These include 69 patients in ICU while 59 are ventilated and 291 oxygenated.

The province is not experiencing any challenges as far as PPEs are concerned, however, Provincial Health remains alert in order to avoid any depletions or shortages.

Healthcare workers remain a focal point during this phase of the pandemic as the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines will be given to these frontline workers. “Health workers will be the first batch of frontline workers to receive the vaccine,” she said.

According to the provincial department, there are presently 338 active Covid-19 cases among healthcare workers in both public and private facilities. “Health workers, as frontline staff, have been severely affected by the virus and unfortunately some of them have succumbed.

Despite the fatigue and risk they are exposed to, they continue to serve our communities with dedication and distinction,” added the MEC.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele
nomaqhawe@mahareng.co.za