The Free State Department of Health has raised concerns over a possible rise in coronavirus cases among learners amid the current school holidays.

This as the province recorded an increase in cluster outbreaks due to social gatherings linked to the Easter holidays.

Free State Health HOD David Motau says hospitals have also seen an increase in the number of admissions.

Motau says, “We’re experiencing an increase in two districts, being Mangaung and Thabo Mofutsanyana. The other districts are not at that level yet but there’s a significant increase. If you look at the four weeks…There’s been a consistent increase in average in our cases and that is worrisome.”

“We’ve also experienced a number of increases in our admissions and that is also worrisome. We’re concerned that this may overwhelm the health system in the province. If you look at it we’re now experiencing in particular the two districts. I’ve referred to the school clusters as to what we’re seeing but we also see the cluster at the workplace environment,” added Motau.

Easter weekend concerns over non-compliance to COVID-19 regulations:

The Free State Health Department has activated all its resources to tackle the latest upsurge in coronavirus infections.

As the province’s infections peak in the midst of a third wave, health officials have attributed the increase in infection clusters at schools to social gatherings linked to the Easter holidays.

The province recorded 222 new infections by Friday with the most infections being in the Mangaung Metro followed by the Thabo Mofutsanyana District.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) noted an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the Free State, Northern Cape and North West.

In the streets of Bloemfontein, most people seem ignorant of the pandemic, the wearing of masks is rare and social distancing is practically non-existent.

Residents have mixed reactions to the existence of the pandemic.

The Free State Health Department says work is under way to increase screening, testing and contact tracing.

MEC Montseng Tsiu says they are concerned about an increase in new infections.

Tsiu says, “The numbers grew especially after Easter holidays where we can say some people came from home being infected and they came to school and they infected other students and even the teachers with the family is what we can say, some people had family gatherings but unfortunately they are not adhering to non-pharmaceutical protocols they don’t wear masks they don’t observe the social distancing and that is why we are seeing the numbers going up in the Free State.

Overall, the Free State has recorded over 86 000 coronavirus cases, with a 93 percent recovery rate. The province has recorded 3 800 deaths so far.