Two people attended Ballito Rage despite Covid+ test some 10 days prior

File image from a matric rage event in a previous year.
File image from a matric rage event in a previous year.
Image: Shelley Christians

At least two revellers who attended the Matric Rage in Ballito late last year had tested positive for the coronavirus before the event.

This was revealed on Sunday in the latest communique from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), which analysed data from the so-called "superspreader event".

The NICD said it received an alert on the weekend of December 5-6 from a clinician from Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, about a number of Covid-19 cases among young people who had attended the Rage Festival in Ballito at end-November into early December.

The institute conducted a retrospective cohort investigation of 2,253 festival attendees (1,954 revellers and 299 crew).

A total of 848 (37.6%) laboratory confirmed Covid-19 cases were identified, of which 846 (99.8%) were revellers and two were crew (0.2%).

Most cases were from Gauteng (66.2%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (30%).

“Two confirmed cases identified among the Rage attendees (both revellers), were before the Rage with specimen collection date on November 17 and 19 2020,” the NICD disclosed.

These kinds of entertainment gatherings should be deemed unnecessary and be prohibited during the outbreak period
NICD

Rage is an annual SA electronic music festival held to coincide with the end of the SA final matric exam season. The official Rage took place on November 28 to December 4 at various venues (three outdoor events at Kings Park Stadium and a small pop-up bar at Rage Bar Ballito).

A number of the Rage revellers were reported to have attended other non-Rage related events and parties, such as The Litchi Party on the night of November 27 that took place in three different bars simultaneously and another large party on November 25, while other revellers attended privately organised parties.

“Though wearing of face masks was mandatory at Rage with hand sanitisers available, social distancing and mask wearing was compromised in most gatherings that took place before the Rage and also masks were not worn all the times during the Rage. Factors such as mass gathering without using appropriate personal protective equipment, crowded spaces, poor hygiene and ventilation, and increased social inhibition due to alcohol consumption, may have produced a conducive environment for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during these gatherings.

“The investigation revealed that two of the Rage attendees had positive SARS-CoV-2 results before the Rage but still proceeded to attend the event.

“This indicated lack of discipline and irresponsible risk behaviours among revellers as there is little or no adherence to the recommended prevention measures.

“This was also demonstrated with the Tin Roof party 'superspreader event' in the Western Cape in October.

“These kinds of entertainment gatherings should be deemed unnecessary and be prohibited during the outbreak period as they influence and contribute to the increase in community transmission, undermining mitigation efforts put in place to contain the virus,” said the NICD.

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