Covid-19 second wave: Western Cape premier red-flags social gatherings, year-end functions

The Western Cape government has urged residents to postpone year-end functions. File image from a matric rage event in a previous year.
The Western Cape government has urged residents to postpone year-end functions. File image from a matric rage event in a previous year.
Image: Twitter/Alan Winde

As SA enters into a second wave of Covid-19 infections, Western Cape premier Alan Winde has urged residents to avoid large social gatherings and year-end events to curb further spread of the virus.

The Western Cape is among four provinces which account for most of the infections in the country. As of Wednesday, the province had a total of 144,419 Covid-19 infections, according to the health ministry.

Winde said among the districts which had seen a spike in Covid-19 infections were Knysna, Protea Place, Heidelberg, Ladismith and Albertina.

Winde said the festive season should be enjoyed with caution and awareness of the risks associated with gatherings. Referring to the recent Rage Festival, which saw 1,300 pupils in Gauteng go into self-isolation, the premier said matric pupils and their parents must act responsibly.

"I ask our matrics and their parents to carefully consider the risks of continuing with these events. This includes the risks to themselves, their family members, and the general public. 

"The clear advice of health experts is to avoid large gatherings where it is difficult to properly observe Covid-19 protocols.

"It is understandable that our matrics and other learners want to let their hair down after a very stressful year, but we are now entering a critical time in the pandemic.

"We cannot afford another lockdown, and we must keep ourselves and others safe."

Mkhize on Wednesday addressed a media briefing, during which he discouraged South Africans from hosting or attending social events that could become Covid-19 super spreaders.

The minister also said that with the spike in infections was a new peak age of teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19.

“This is a new issue and this is worrying. It is believed to be due to a large number of parties involving young people drinking alcohol with no adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions, wearing no masks, and social distancing and hand sanitising not taking place,” said Mkhize.

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