The Democratic Alliance (DA) has accused the government of drawing a veil of secrecy on the screening and testing of the COVID-19 in the Free State.
DA whip in the Free State Legislature, Mariette Pittaway, says government has been selective on disseminating information on the coronavirus outcomes.
The DA in the province wants regular updates on the pandemic. It is accusing government of disseminating selective information.
By Monday night, there were 126 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Free State. This includes 96 recoveries and six fatalities. At least 13 coronavirus patients in the province have been hospitalised, one in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). However, Pittaway says these figures are not accurate.
“In this district we are now in Fezile Dabi that borders on Gauteng, there’s only been three cases, in Kroonstad there’s no screening being done – screening was done in Sasolburg and in Parys and surrounding towns. How can they assure us that there is no COVID-19 in these areas. I’m talking about Thabo Mofutsanyana that includes Qwaqwa, there’s only 11 cases there. The screening maybe they’re are doing, there’s a lot of screening but the testing is my problem. We have got to start vigorously testing.”
In the video below, Free State ramps up screening campaign:
Free State Health Spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, has dismissed the DA’s accusations as baseless.
“It’s our surprise, the whole country is congratulating the department on the good work that has been done. Firstly for the swift reaction toward containment of the virus from its beginning. Even before we were first announced as a province that is going to host an isolation centre in the province, we took media there to show our state of readiness. We informed everybody in the legislature the committee on the social cluster, we have been transparent as we could be.”
The DA has confirmed it has submitted a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application, to compel the provincial health department to release detailed COVID-19 statistics.
Almost 800 000 people in the Free State have been screened for COVID-19 and more than 9 000 others have been tested.
Below are the latest COVID-19 stats in SA: