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Nelson Mandela Bay calls for large events to be shelved as Covid-19 infections rise

Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Eugene Johnson is concerned large gatherings will fuel an increase in Covid-19 infections.
Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Eugene Johnson is concerned large gatherings will fuel an increase in Covid-19 infections.
Image: Supplied

Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Eugene Johnson says the city has urged event organisers to postpone or cancel planned large gatherings ahead of the festive season due to a resurgence in Covid-19 infections.

Johnson said the call to shelve events went out in agreement with the department of health and disaster management centre.

“With the Covid-19 fourth wave remaining an imminent threat in our society and country, we have sent a letter to all event organisers to recommend they consider postponing or cancelling their events in our region due to the resurgence in Covid-19 infections.”

The city recorded 36 active cases on November 22 but this jumped to 301 by December 6.

In another blow to festive season plans, Johnson said the city “will not be able to implement its annual Summer Season programme this year. This is due to objections received against the awarding of the new contract that was set to assist the city in delivering another exciting and vibrant Summer Season.”

The city is also grappling with a water shortage. Johnson encouraged visitors to “enjoy your stay but please do not waste water as we are faced with a drought crisis and have only 15.60% of combined dam levels to supply every household and every business”.

She said the call to cancel large gatherings was made in the interests of health and safety.

“We do not wish for a case where people infect each other at events. There has been an increase around the country and during the festive season people will be travelling interprovincially.

“It is not a punishment for anyone or any sector. It is simply in the best interest of everyone.

“We continue to call on all eligible residents in our city to get their Covid-19 vaccine as health experts continue to advise that for large gatherings to take place, most of the population needs to get vaccinated.”

Johnson said the safety and security directorate had plans in place to ensure readiness for the festive season.

“We have beefed up our safety and security measures and will during the festive season execute crime prevention operations to combat crime in any form, including contact and property crime.

“We will be policing our beaches and holiday resorts. We will continue to partner with other stakeholders to fight drunken driving, drugs and the proliferation of firearms. There is an increase in human trafficking cases in our country and it is quite worrisome. This is another area we focus on this year.”

She said they will check for Covid-19 regulations compliance at roadblocks.


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