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Omicron doesn’t deter as thousands descend on Durban beaches for the second weekend in a row

The fourth wave did not deter people from flocking to the Durban beachfront this weekend. Picture: Supplied

The fourth wave did not deter people from flocking to the Durban beachfront this weekend. Picture: Supplied

Published Dec 13, 2021

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Durban: Officials had their hands full this weekend as thousands of people descended on the Durban beachfront despite the country gripped by a fourth wave of the pandemic.

Durban Metro police spokesperson Parbhoo Sewpersad said thousands of people visited the Durban beachfront this weekend.

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He attributed that to the heat wave in Durban.

Sewperadh said 109 children were separated from their parents, but were reunited.

Durban Metro spokesperson Parbhoo Sewpersad attributed this to the heat wave.

“There were a number of drownings. Some people were not complying with the rules. There were many people who were opting to swim after dark which is not safe.”

He said taxis were not permitted on the beach.

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“There is a special parking at the old Durban drive-in.”

Parbhoo said there were also three drownings at the same beach.

Last week, a debate was sparked by maskless crowds at the same beach.

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Professor Mosa Moshabela, the deputy vice-chancellor of research and innovation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, told The Mercury that the beachfront had the potential to increase the risk of viral spread.

“But the situation at the beachfront is more complicated. On the one hand, we don’t expect people to get into the water with their masks on. So they should be able to take off their masks, much like the way people take off their masks in restaurants.

The country is experiencing its fourth wave of the pandemic, with 35 189 new cases reported this weekend alone.

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