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Gauteng doctors warn against sending matriculants to Rage Festival

People at a concert music festival
Picture/Pexels (Vishnu R Nair)

By Kaya 959 Reporter

A collaboration of medical experts in Gauteng is urging parents not to send Grade 12 learners to the Rage Festival set to take place in December.

The Gauteng General Practitioners Collaboration said last year’s event turned out to be a massive driver of the second wave and kicked off a disastrous holiday period for the country.

In an open letter to parents and principals, the GGPC said they were concerned that this year’s event would be a repeat.

“Many matriculatns are still 17 until near the end of the year and won’t have time to be fully vaccinated. Fake IDs are common in this age group and fake vaccine passports are a genuine concern. It would just take a couple of infected revellers to cause a super spreader event in this context,” the GGPC said.

The Rage Festival is a popular post-matric celebration that is said to pump millions into the KwaZulu-Natal tourism economy.

The Collaboration said they have been getting queries from parents asking if they should let their children attend Matric Rage 2021.

The GGPC said it empathised with parents who want their children to have a “normal” end-of-year experience.

“But it is our professional opinion that the only sensible and responsible answer to that question is ‘No’. The third wave of SARS Cov-2 infections has not yet receded, and a fourth wave is strongly predicted for November, with a new and more dangerous or more contagious variant being a possibility,” the Collaboration said.

ALSO READ: Over 18s less thrilled about the COVID-19 vaccine

Festival poses risk?

The doctors do not believe that the COVID-19 safety measures suggested by the organisers can prevent the spread of the virus.

“A large gathering like this, run over a few days, and consisting of excited teens is the ideal environment for a super spreader event – as last year’s event demonstrated.

“Even a vaccine passport and daily rapid antigen tests, are unlikely to be able to contain an inevitable presence, and spread, of COVID-19 amongst the revellers, and beyond them, to more vulnerable people,” the GGPC said.

It said given the low vaccination rate in South Africa, a festival event of this size poses a considerable risk of a significant and unnecessary contribution to a fourth spike.

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