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Staff Reporter

Panic has reportedly gripped the sprawling industrial town of Sasolburg in the northern Free State after three family members, including an 81-year-old man, tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement, provincial health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said the three were not showing any signs of illness but the octogenarian had been admitted at Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein as a precautionary measure due to his advanced age.

The man’s wife, aged 51, and his 33-year-old son who lives in Gauteng but had visited them are the other family members who tested positive.

The wife has since been admitted at the same hospital as a precaution although she remains asymptomatic.

The son is however recognised as a Gauteng patient.

The 28-year-old daughter of the elderly man has however tested negative and is under constant observation for any possible signs of illness.

“We have registered two new cases in Zamdela (township), Sasolburg,” said Mvambi.

“A 33-year-old male from Palm Springs who has a wife and two children visited a general practitioner in Sasolburg for consultation and to test for COVID-19. He also visited his parents’ home in Zamdela.

“This man is now quarantined with his family in his house in Palm Springs as a patient of the Gauteng Province.”

Mvambi urged residents of Sasolburg and surrounding areas not to panic.

“We know that these (reports) have sent panic waves to the community of Metsimaholo Local Municipality in general and Sasolburg in particular,” he said.

“The Free State Department of Health would like to take this opportunity to assure the residents of this town that there is no need for panic as the situation is under control.”

Mvambi encouraged members of the public to stay informed about how COVID-19 is transmitted and ensure they maintain social distancing, wear face masks, wash hands and sanitise regularly.

“We have to observe social distance of one-two metres between you and the next person,” he said.

“Wear a cloth mask every time you go out of your house to public spaces, wash your hands regularly with soap and clean running water, cover your cough and sneeze with your elbow or use a tissue that must be safely disposed of in a bin with a lid.”

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