Coronavirus in SA: No Macufe festival this year, says Free State Premier
Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela says a variety of popular festivals hosted annually in the province will be cancelled including the Macufe Cultural Festival.
Notombela said other events that will be cancelled include June 16 celebrations and a flower festival and many others. She said this was the only way to ensure that people do not gather in groups which could hamper the government's efforts to fight the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Ntombela announced the changes at a media briefing held by the Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize in the Free State. The Free State recorded its first confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus with 7 confirmed cases.
The overall national numbers of infected cases now stand at 202.
The Macufe Festival, which is held over a weekend and sees various musicians perform, is held annually and attracts thousands of visitors to the province.
Notombela said the funds dedicated to funding the cultural events would be redirected to help increase water supply in the province as a measure to combating the coronavirus.
Mkhize explained that of the seven cases in the Free State, five were from foreign individuals who had travelled from France, the US and Isreal and were in the country to attend a church gathering. That gathering was attended by approximately 200 individuals.
The minister said with the help of the Red Cross and tracer teams a plan was in place to track everyone who had attended the church gathering.
The other two cases in the province were of a male who had recently travelled to Italy and a health care nurse who had no history of travel.
The nurse has two children who attend Brandwag Primary School in the province and they have been tested for the virus after they showed symptoms.
Mkhize called for the public to follow the government's new regulations which were published on Wednesday. These regulations set strict measures for public gatherings among other things.
The minister said all the patients that were being treated were recovering well.
"Most patients are improving and do not have serious symptoms. We do not have anyone who is in the ICU. We are trying to make sure that the people we have are recovering and will be discharged," Mkhize said.IOL