The Free State Health Department says it is on high alert to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the province. Part of the plan includes keeping a close watch on social gatherings, increase screening and testing of residents.

Several COVID-19 hotspots have been identified in the province. However, there is a mixed reaction to additional restrictions imposed to curb coronavirus infections.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced new measures Monday night to halt the spread of the coronavirus in SA’s second wave of the pandemic.

Some residents say this year’s festive season will not be the same.

“It’s a bit frustrating but we also have to understand the situation he is in. He has to think of the country and if he has to put in strict restrictions, to keep us safe, I would rather put my safety first than worrying about going to a park or going to a beach and getting COVID. ”

Another resident says, “I thank Mr President for thinking on behalf of South Africans because people will never stop themselves if the president does not stop us.”

The Free State Health Department’s Head of Surveillance and Response, Dr. Sammy Mokoena, says they have identified areas of concern in the province.

“Generally, Mangaung District or Metro has been a problem; Lejweleputswa has been a problem and Xhariep continues to be a problem. But in Mangaung, in particular Bloemfontein, we know it is because of the super events. We know that Mangaung is a hub of entertainment within the province and that is a big concern for us. And that’s why we are trying to clamp on it and to make sure that we are monitoring.”

There are nearly 60 000 recorded cases of COVID-19 infections in the Free State with more than 2 000 fatalities.

Below are the latest coronavirus stats in SA: