Four staff members at the Ballito Anger Festival have tested positive for Covid-19, organizers said.
- Four staff members at the Ballito Rage Festival tested positive for Covid-19, organizers said.
- However, a Durban doctor reported 20 positive cases in less than 48 hours, with most of the patients asymptomatic.
- Festival organizers refused to label the event a super spreader, saying there were no statistics to prove this.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has urged participants of the Ballito Rage Festival to undergo a Covid-19 test and isolate themselves, after participants and staff tested positive.
“We confirm that we have now identified a number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 arising from this super-spreading event. Therefore, if you attend one of these Rage events, you are now considered a contact,” Mkhize said in a statement. statement.
“We now urge all Rage participants to immediately enter a 10-day quarantine period according to the Ministry of Health’s Guidelines on Quarantine and Isolation. We also urge that all Rage officers test Covid-19.”
Mkhize also appealed to parents to bring their children who had attended the festival to be tested as soon as possible.
Festival organizers Rage confirmed to News24 that four staff at the event had tested positive, while a Hillcrest-based doctor confirmed another 20 cases.
Dr Kams Govender said 20 patients tested positive for Covid-19 in less than 48 hours. All of the patients were adolescents or young adults who had attended, or had friends who had attended, an Anger Festival in Ballito.
Govender adds that the results of the other 40 to 50 tests are still outstanding.
“And I have only one small practice in Durban. Many of my colleagues in other practices have reported the same thing,” he said.
In a social media post shared on his practice page on Saturday, the Governder said: “The past 48 hours have been tiring as a practitioner in the Upper Highway area with an influx of teenagers requiring Covid-19 PCR testing. This is largely due to them attending the annual event. Matric Rage over the past week and has many friends who have tested positive for Covid-19. “
All patients who tested positive were in the 15 to 21 year age group. Govender said that nearly all Covid-19 positive patients are asymptomatic.
“Usually, children have a strong immune system and recover very quickly with mild or no symptoms. However, this age group also tends to socialize in large groups and this will definitely increase the spread of the virus during the festive period, ”said Govender. .
The medical scheme group Discovery also sent out a warning, warning its members that it was “detecting high levels of positive Covid-19 testing in students returning from post-matrix celebrations at KwaZulu-Natal”.
A spokesperson urged participants to test themselves, and to isolate if they have had close contact with those who have tested positive.
A major event has the potential to rapidly spread the virus to large numbers of people. A super-spreading event is classified as when one person transmits the virus to more than eight people.
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Greg Walsh, CEO of G&G Productions, which hosts festivals across the country, denied the event was a super spreader.
“It is irresponsible to label the event as a super spreader when there are no statistics or precedents to call it that … We work directly with the Department of Health and the NICD and they have to be the ones to make any findings,” he said.
Walsh, previously told News24 that organizers had taken the decision to host the event because the matrics would go to the beach at any cost and that the event organizer had “20 years of experience and a reputation for hosting very safe and controlled events”.
In a statement, Walsh confirmed that four staff members at the event had tested positive.
“Despite all the efforts before and during the festival and in all places controlled by Rage, we regret to have received reports that some of the attendees later tested positive for Covid-19. In addition, we are aware of four staff working on behalf of the supplier who informed us immediately. that they tested positive, “said Walsh.
He added organizers had added “much more health and safety measures” this year to comply with Covid-19 regulations.
“Our complete Covid-19 plan has been submitted (an 86-page document) to the local health department and the Durban Events Department prior to the event. We have to comply with more than 20 additional regulations to get approval,” he said.
These include initial checks, daily temperature checks, strict mask wearing protocols, hand sanitation facilities, cashless payments, limited seating capacity, and PPE for staff.
Walsh confirmed that organizers had sent several alerts to all participants and had provided all contact tracing information to the Ministry of Health, advising them to self-isolate and undergo testing, in line with NICD guidelines.
“We strongly recommend that anyone attending a Festival of Rage at KZN or any other event, bar, house meeting or other venue during the same period in which the matrix is attended, is considered high risk and immediately follows the NICD guidelines (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic),” he said.