Covid ’superspreader’ warning as matrics gear up for annual Plett Rage
Cape Town - While concerns have been raised about the annual Plett Rage event being a potential Covid superspreader event, thousands of matric pupils are expected to flock to the Southern Cape town next year.
This year’s Plett Rage will only be in the new year as organisers decided to move it to take place from January 29 to February 6. This is to accommodate half of the matrics that attend government schools, who only finish exams on December 15.
Professor of Vaccinology in the School of Pathology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Shabir Madhi, said the event “lends itself to superspreader events, which is what we are wanting to avoid to prevent community transmission from escalating. Heightened transmission will contribute to a sudden burst of severe cases, that could overwhelm health services – this is exactly what we are needing to guard against.”
Madhi added, “at this stage, rave parties or any other activity that involves the congregation of a large number of individuals, and specifically if occurring at indoor venues, would be reckless to engage in. These activities are fertile ground for super-spreader events.”
Rage spokesperson, Marina Oreb said not many parents directly expressed concerns about the events being a Covid risk.
“Covid-19 has certainly limited the number of interested attendees, we are expecting about 60% to 70% of the usual turnout.”
Last month, IOL reported that though the Durban leg of the rage will also go ahead as planned, a drop in numbers is expected and because it will take place before state schools have finished writing their matric exams.
In a virtual media briefing earlier this week, head of Western Cape’s Health Department, Dr Keith Cloete said there was a spike in cases along the Garden Route fitting the description of a second wave.
“It’s safe to say that in the Garden Route, there is a second wave,” he said.
There are currently 752 Covid-19 hospitalisations in the Western Cape, with 185 of those on the Garden Route.
Some artists scheduled to perform at Rage include Das Kapital, Lady M, Dean Fuel, Ryan Murgatroyd and Phfat.