Matric Rage attendees urged to test for COVID-19

Johannesburg – The Department of Health has issued an urgent announcement to all parents and learners who attended Ballito Rage event to get tested for COVID-19 after it was identified as a super-spreader event.

“We confirm that we have now identified a number of COVID-19 confirmed cases arising from these super-spreader events. This, therefore, means that if you attended any of these Rage events, you are now regarded as a contact,” said Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

The Minister has since urged Ballito Rage attendees to immediately go into a 10-day quarantine period as per the Department of Health Guidelines on Quarantine and Isolation.

“We also urge that all Rage attendants test for COVID-19. We also encourage parents to take their children who have attended Rage for testing as soon as possible,” the Minister stressed.

Latest stats: 4 116 new Covid-19 cases in SA

According to the Ballito Rage organisers, despite all efforts before and during the festival and at all their controlled venues, they have received reports that some attendees have subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

“In addition, we are aware of four staff working on behalf of suppliers who have let us know directly they have tested positive,” Ballito Rage’s statement read.

The organisers are advising any person who attended any Rage Festival event in KwaZulu-Natal or any other event, bar, house gathering, restaurant or other places during the same period attended by matrics be considered high-risk and follow the guidelines immediately whether symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Meanwhile, all Plett Rage ticket sales have been suspended until further notice.

“We want to reiterate that Plett Rage did not take place this week and is scheduled to take place from 29 January to 6 February 2021,” the Plett Rage organisers said on Facebook.

The Minister has since warned South Africans against large gatherings.

“This is a clear illustration that large gatherings which involve the consumption of alcohol are a major risk and continue to undermine our efforts to contain the spread of the virus,” he added.

While government works around the clock to curb the wave of new infections, Mkhize said, he was pleading with all parents to also exercise “their parental prerogative and set boundaries on activities that their children specifically the youth can participate in”.

“It is clear that in these entertainment activities, most participants are not constantly conscious of good behaviour. This means that our youth is not only exposing themselves to the risk of contracting COVID-19, but they also put the lives of their parents, grandparents and other loved ones living with comorbidities at risk.”

He is also calling on all participants of these super-spreader events to download and interact with the COVID-Alert App as part of  contact tracing efforts.

“It is also worth noting from reports we have received that a few private hospitals in Durban now have full ICUs,” the statement read on Sunday.

Mkhize said he believes that each individual’s behaviour will determine whether the country conquers the fight against the deadly virus or if COVID-19 continues to defeat government’s efforts.

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