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Staff Reporter

The Free State Department of Health has rubbished rumours claiming Medi-Clinic Bloemfontein was overwhelmed with cases of COVID-19 and that people risked contracting the disease there as management at the hospital was allegedly failing to cope.

Provincial health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said the message being circulated as a voice note claiming a high prevalence of COVID-19 and poor management at the hospital is untrue as the department is constantly monitoring the disease at all health facilities in the province.

“We would like to state that what is contained in this voice note is not true,” Mvambi said in a statement Friday, adding the message is a gross exaggeration probably fuelled by the general anxiety and panic believed to have gripped many people.

“Medi-Clinic hospital in Bloemfontein is open and fully operational,” he added.

“We would like to encourage our people not to be driven by anxiety and fear but be guided by scientific evidence from authoritative sources such as the World Health Organisation . . . the National Department of Health, the MEC and HOD of Health as well as the National Institute on Communicable Diseases.”

The message, according to Mvambi, seemed to paint a dire picture of the situation at the private hospital.

“Contrary to the exaggerated claims of the voice note, Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic currently has 54 patients in the general wards – 51 in dedicated COVID-19 wards and three in maternity,” he said.

“At the ICU (intensive care unit), there are 11 COVID-19 patients in two dedicated COVID-19 ICUs.

“In total, there are 65 positive patients. The total deaths are 13 in four months – from April until July.”

Mvambi said 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.

The health department said the Free State now has 7 312 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

At least 1 055 people have recovered and 47 have succumbed to the disease.

The province has conducted 3 583 590 screenings with 50 536 tests conducted by the National Health Laboratory Service.

The tracing efforts have managed to track down 10 259 of 10 648 known contacts.

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