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DURBAN – ORGANISERS of this year’s Ballito Rage are ensuring that the class of 2021 will be safe as they celebrate the end of their schooling career.
Almost a rite of passage for matriculants around the country, the events, which take place in various cities around the country, take place each year with hundreds of matric pupils taking part.
According to their website, Ballito Rage is set to take place between November 30 and December 5 this year.
“We are in collaboration with the relevant city officials and believe that our vaccination and testing strategy will ensure our beloved festival gets the green light,” the statement on the website read.
However, a few adjustments have been made to this year’s schedule.
“In the event that the national response to Covid-19 requires that we cannot have a suitable gathering size, serve liquor, operate until a reasonable hour and deliver our world-class experience – the festival will be cancelled and a 90% refund will apply,” organisers said.
Furthermore, the festival will be subject to all necessary government approvals, Covid-19 event regulations at the time and all attendees will be required to show proof of their government-approved Covid-19 vaccine prior to entry. All attendees will be subject to non-invasive Covid-19 rapid antigen tests every second day including all staff daily.
Last year, scores of learners tested positive for Covid-19 after attending the annual event.
Dr Kam Govender of the Value Health Hillcrest Medical and Urgent Care Centre sounded the alarm out of concern for the community after he noticed an influx of tests in days after kids returned from the Ballito Rage.
He said doctors in Durban North, Umhlanga and Ballito had also been seeing patients who had attended the festival.
Govender said he usually saw about five patients a day and this had escalated to between 40 and 50.
Senior researcher at CSIR, Dr Ridhwaan Suliman, warned against attending large gatherings.
He said although there was no guarantee that any particular event could be a super-spreader, people still needed to be conscious that attending gatherings could put them at risk.
Although there have reports that South Africa could enter its fourth wave of the Covid pandemic in the coming months, Suliman said it was too early predict when exactly the fourth wave would occur.
“Based on the timing of the past waves, we are not sure when the fourth wave could start but we can expect a resurgence at the end of the year. At the moment, all provinces are showing a decrease in infections but places inland tend to peak earlier,” he said.