The Free State Health Department says it’s in the process of recruiting more healthcare workers in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. The province says it is concerned about the slight increase in coronavirus infections.

The department has also received resources such laptops, smartphones and desktops from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Department of Health says it is intensifying the fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Free State Health MEC, Montseng Tsiu, says part of the plan includes hiring more healthcare workers.

“We are concerned about the increasingly alarming rate and we are now increasing our teams. We want to make sure that we have enough soldiers on the ground.”

In the video below, the Free State government says that it is not ready for Level 3 lockdown:

According to Tsiu, the support materials from the WHO will help during the screening and testing of patients.

“The gift that we have received from WHO will assist the department with data capturing, writing reports and contact tracing and collate the statistics. We appreciate the help from WHO and this gives us the assurance that we will fight this.”

The WHO has also sent its members to provide technical support to ensure that the provincial response to the outbreak is in line with global standards.

In the video below, Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela outlines COVID-19 developments in the province. 

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Transparency in COVID-19 funds

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Free State, earlier in May, appealed for transparency on COVID-19 expenditure after the provincial Finance Department announced that it spent R49 million in the fight against the virus.

DA Chief Whip David Van Vuuren said there should be accountability on spending.

“We are very concerned, as the Democratic Alliance. We want to see what expenditure has been taking place in the province. We had a briefing by the MEC of finance this week, where they indicated how the money is going to be spent. We want to see that there is regular reporting in these, to the public account also. What we do welcome is the fact that the MEC of Finance did say that they want to spend money on local businesses and that they want to stimulate businesses in the Free State.”

The DA also accused the Free State government of selectively disseminating information on COVID-19 outcomes. The party accused the government of drawing a veil of secrecy on the screening and testing of the coronavirus in the province.

The Free State Health Department, however, dismissed DA’s accusations as baseless.