Rage festival report: Two people knew they had Covid-19, but still went to the event

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Revellers at a Rage festival.
Revellers at a Rage festival.
  • The NICD revealed that two attendees had positive SARS-CoV-2 results before the Rage, but still proceeded to attend the event.
  • The report said a number of revellers attended other events and private parties before going to the festival.
  • Masks were not worn all the times during the Rage.

Two revellers, who attended the annual matric Rage festival in KwaZulu-Natal, had tested positive before the event, but still decided to attend.

Afterwards, 848 people at the event tested positive for Covid-19.

This is according to report released by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

Of the people who tested positive, 846 were revellers while two were Rage crew members.

The NICD launched an investigation after it received an alert from a Hillcrest clinician in KwaZulu-Natal, regarding a number of Covid-19 cases among young people who attended a Rage festival in Ballito.  

The NICD wanted to ascertain the existence of a Covid-19 cluster related to attendance at the event.

The centre conducted a retrospective cohort investigation of 2 253 festival attendees, of which 1 954 were revellers and 299 were Rage crew.

"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 a lack of discipline and irresponsible risk behaviour among 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."

The report also stated that a number of Rage revellers attended other non-Rage events and private parties before going to the festival.

READ | Nearly 1 000 Rage festival goers from Gauteng test Covid-19 positive

The report further states that, although wearing of face masks was mandatory at the festival, with hand sanitisers available, social distancing and mask wearing was compromised at most gatherings which took place before the Rage, and also that masks were not worn all the times during the Rage.

Rage is an annual South African electronic music festival held to coincide with the end of the South African final matric exam.

The NICD report further stated that factors, such as mass gatherings without using appropriate personal protective equipment, crowded spaces, poor hygiene and ventilation, and increased social inhibition due to alcohol consumption, may have produced a conducive environment for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during these gatherings.  

The age of people who attended the Rage festival ranged from 15 to 58.

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