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Mabuza praises Free State for flattening COVID-19 curve

The province's 322 coronavirus cases account for less than 1% of the country's national 40,792 infection rate.

Deputy President David Mabuza (L) and Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela (R) on 5 June 2020 were in Mangaung visiting health facilities to assess the province’s capacity to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: @DDMabuza/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Free State has been praised by Deputy President David Mabuza for flattening the COVID-19 curve and avoiding a situation which he referred to as a burning province.

The province's 322 coronavirus cases account for less than 1% of the country's national 40,792 infections.

Before the lockdown, health officials listed the province as concerning, as a large number of people were infected at a church gathering held before the lockdown.

Mabuza visited the province on Friday to assess its readiness ahead of the expected peak of the outbreak.

Mabuza said that the Free State had a comprehensive plan in place and dealt with the outbreak in the province head-on, despite many experts raising concerns.

“Otherwise the province would be burning,” Mabuza said.

Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla was optimistic that the Free State could, in fact, help other provinces to flatten the curve.

“I think the province has a lot of opportunities to be one of those to help us keep the numbers down if we invest quite a lot in it going forward.”

The province said it was prepared to deal with a spike in COVID-19 patients as more facilities were being turned into hospitals strictly for COVID-19 cases.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.