Free State clinic temporarily shut after undisclosed number of people test positive


A clinic in Heilbron, a small farming town in the Free State, has been temporarily closed after "some people associated with it" tested positive for Covid-19.

In a statement on Tuesday, the provincial department of health announced that it would be deploying the services of a mobile health bus service, which would be stationed outside the clinic following the closure.

The statement did not explain how many people had tested positive for the virus, nor what their association to the clinic was.

Department spokesperson Mondli Mvambi refused to disclose the exact number of people who tested positive, saying that the department was protecting the identities of these people because there was a stigma attached to Covid-19 in the Heilbron area.

"They are associated with the clinic, that's all people need to know."

The department said the mobile health unit would be available until the "situation" at the Heilbron clinic was brought under control.

"We are tracing all the contacts of people who have tested positive to ensure that we curb the spread of the virus," the statement read.

The department further called for calm from the community and urged people to continue practising basic health hygiene.

"Do not panic when you hear that there's a Covid-19 case in any town, as this is predicted that during these cold winter months it can eventually infect everyone," the department said.

"Although there's no cure to Covid-19, we know that there's a higher number of recoveries. Please take extra care if you have any other underlying health issue to avoid getting sick.

"We plead for proactive prevention actions from everyone by following the basic health hygiene practices and staying away from environments that can infect you. Every Covid-19 person must be safely kept in isolation facility as may be prescribed by health officials or safely quarantined in health department facilities."

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