Two revellers who attended the matric Rage Festival in KwaZulu-Natal late last year had tested positive prior to the event and still went.
In the first weekend of December, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) received an alert from a clinician from Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, regarding a number of Covid-19 cases among young people who reported to have attended the Rage Festival and launched an investigation into the matter across provinces.
Of the 2253 Rage attendees, 848 people tested positive for Covid-19, a report released by the NICD revealed on Sunday.
The age of the revellers ranged from 16 to 58 years, with 15 to 19 year olds accounting for 802 of the cases. Gauteng accounted for 561 cases.
“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 indicates lack of discipline and irresponsible risk behaviours amongst revellers as there is little or no adherence to the recommended prevention measures.
“This was also demonstrated with the Tin Roof party super-spreader 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,” reads the report.
Rage is an annual electronic music festival held to coincide with the end of the South African final matric exam season. The official Rage took place from 28 November to 4 December 2020 at various venues – three outdoor events at Kings Park Stadium and a small pop-up bar at Rage Bar Ballito.
According to the investigation, some Rage revellers attended other events and parties, such as The Litchi Party on the night of 27 November, that took place in three different bars simultaneously and another large party on 25 November.
“Although 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 time during the Rage.”
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde