Video: Rudolph Nkgadima/SAPA+

Coronavirus forces ZCC to halt Easter pilgrimage

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Mar 18, 2020

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Johannesburg - As the Easter holidays approach, questions had been raised about the large gatherings of people as the coronavirus continues to grip the country. 

On Tuesday, the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) announced that it would not be hosting its annual pilgrimage to its headquarters in Limpopo. 

The Easter pilgrimage is held by the church every year and sees thousands of congregants travel from across the country to attend mass services in Moria, Limpopo. 

The ZCC's spokesperson Reverence Emmanuel Motolla said the church had decided that this year's events would be cancelled. The decision was taken on Friday after church leaders met with the Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize. Motolla said the cancellation of the festivities was due to concern around the coronavirus, he told eNCA on Tuesday night. 

The Church's announcement came a day before the official numbers of the coronavirus were announced. The health department said on Wednesday that the total number of people who have tested positive now sits at 85. This was a jump of 23 new cases from Monday. Of the 23, eight were local transmissions, meaning the individuals had no travel history. Most of the other cases had been reported from individuals who had travelled to various countries in Europe. 

Gauteng has recorded the highest cases, followed by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. 

There has been pressure on organisations to cancel various events following President Cyril Ramaphosa's address on Sunday night. The president said the cabinet had approved travel bans for various countries that had been flagged as high risk. He also limited public gatherings to 1100. 

This had led various organisation such as the ZCC to cancel events. SA Express on Wednesday became the first airline in the country to halt its services due to the virus.  

President Cyril Ramaphosa was due to meet with leaders of political parties in Cape Town to address the issue of tackling the spread of the virus. 

Video by Rudolph Nkgadima/SAPA+

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