'It is unthinkable' - Zikalala slams mass protest at KwaSizabantu which resulted in 48 infections

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala
Supplied by KZN government
  • Forty-eight people tested positive following a protest event at KSB attended by more than 2 000 people.
  • Six nuns died in KZN after a church event at a convent in the Ugu district.
  • KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has warned against events which contribute to the spread of Covid-19.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has warned about cluster Covid-19 outbreaks following the death of six nuns at a convent in the Ugu district and 48 infections resulting from a protest attended by more than 2 000 people at KwaSizabantu (KSB).

LIVE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates

Zikalala briefed the media on the province's latest Covid-19 figures and festive season plans on Sunday.  

"The province has recorded a number of clusters in healthcare settings, church gatherings, retail shops, funerals, ceremonies and parties. The recent cluster outbreaks in gatherings have proven to be fatal, such as a church gathering that took place in Assisi Convent in Ugu District, which saw six nuns sadly succumb to Covid-19.

"Another gathering was at KwaSizabantu in Umzinyathi district, which was attended by more than 2 000 people! And I repeat 2 000 people. It is unthinkable," he said.

WATCH | Crowd flouts Covid-19 rules at Cape Town concert

The premier's office later clarified that the gathering the premier had referred to in his speech was protest action, which took place last week at KSB.

"Please note that the statement doesn't suggest this to be a gathering organised by the mission, but it was a gathering (a protest of people demanding to be employed at the mission). That cluster of people is becoming a super-spreader."

The event at KwaSizabantu resulted in 48 people testing positive so far, with the premier saying it was hardly surprising.

The premier also expressed concern over the increase in home deaths.

"On Thursday, 17 December 2020, the province received 22 home deaths. This means that the province now has 142 (or 3%) of deaths that occurred at home since the beginning of the pandemic," he said.

READ | All the new rules for December: Close beaches, booze restrictions, curfews

The death rate, Zikalala said, is at 32 deaths per 100 000 of the population, with the eThekwini District the highest - at 46 deaths per 100 000. 

Concerned

"We are concerned at the fact that the province is experiencing an increase in the number of Covid-19 related deaths reported daily. The actual number of deaths, which occurred during week 50, was 68 and, for week 51, it was 111. We must hasten to add that these are cumulative numbers, not numbers reported on a single day," said Zikalala.

Of the infected, 7 891 are healthcare workers.

"The majority of the infected healthcare workers were nurses (56%). The number of infected healthcare workers has increased by 449 (or 6%) in the past seven days," said Zikalala.

Zikalala said the province was prepared for the second wave and had cancelled all major events as a precaution.

"We also want to dispel the notion that our healthcare facilities are beginning to succumb. Yes, the healthcare facilities are experiencing high demand, but the system has not collapsed due to pressure. It is up to all of us to ensure that we do not get to that stage," he said.

Meanwhile, the province has also been clamping down on festive season activities and alcohol sales.

"To date, we have undertaken a total of 44 joint law enforcement operations with SAPS and the Liquor Authority in KZN. During this time, 24 liquor licences were suspended, while 13 more suspensions are in the process of being finalised," said Zikalala.

Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Eskom has considered continuous load shedding at Stage 2, instead of introducing it when the power system faces a crunch. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm all for it - we're going to have power cuts regardless, so we might as well have some stability to better plan our lives
45% - 4228 votes
No thanks! I prefer having periods of no load shedding and we cannot normalise this crisis
55% - 5099 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.93
-1.8%
Rand - Pound
19.45
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.37
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.70
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,643.66
0.0%
Silver
18.87
0.0%
Palladium
2,073.00
0.0%
Platinum
858.50
0.0%
Brent-ruolie
86.15
-5.0%
Top 40
57,110
-3.1%
All Share
63,417
-2.9%
Resource 10
56,319
-7.5%
Industrial 25
78,436
-1.2%
Financial 15
14,142
-1.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE