South Africa urges quarantine after ‘super-spreader’ student parties


FILE PHOTO: A worker walks past safely spaced desks following safe distancing measures amid the ...
FILE PHOTO: A worker walks past safely spaced desks following safe distancing measures amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the Seshegong secondary school in Olivenhoutbosch, South Africa, May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa on Sunday urged school students who attended a series of end-of-year “Rage” parties to enter 10 days of quarantine after identifying four such parties as COVID-19 “super-spreader events”.

South Africa is experiencing a resurgence of new cases in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, with President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announcing new restrictions in the Eastern Cape but stopping short of a wider crackdown.

Hosted annually, the Rage parties are popular with thousands of school leavers eager to let their hair down at events that can last several days.

“We confirm that we have now identified a number of COVID-19 confirmed cases arising from these super-spreader events,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement.

“We now urge all the Rage attendees to immediately go into a 10-days quarantine… We also urge that Rage attendees test for COVID-19.”

Organisers of the Rage parties did not immediately respond to an emailed message for comment.

In media reports leading up to the events, organisers said they were working to ensure safety, with fewer people than normal expected to attend.

South Africa has recorded more than 800,000 coronavirus infections and more than 21,000 deaths related to COVID-19, the most in Africa.

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