Gauteng reiterates call to avoid large gatherings amid COVID-19

SABC News healthcare workers - Gauteng reiterates call to avoid large gatherings amid COVID-19

The Gauteng government has reiterated that large gatherings and parties are super-spreaders of COVID-19 and must be avoided. This comes as videos continue to surface on social media of people gathered in large crowds, drinking alcohol, and breaking COVID-19 protocols.

South Africa is currently in the grip of a second wave of COVID-19 with cases continuing to rise rapidly, compounded by the new COVID-19 variant.

Gauteng government spokesperson Thabo Masebe says everyone must do their part to stop the spread of the virus.

“Law enforcement agencies and other relevant agencies will be out in full force to enforce compliance with National Disaster Regulations. Joint operations including roadblocks, inspections of retail stores, restaurants, and bars will continue throughout the province during the festive season. Though action will be taken against anyone breaking the law.”

Spike in COVID-19 cases 

Academics and health experts have warned of a significant spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the province due to the anticipated influx of holidaymakers heading back to the province at the end of the festive season.

They believe that in order to manage the rapid increase in new COVID-19 cases in Gauteng, it is going to be critical to target areas where the spread of the virus is growing fast.

Evidence shows there is a significant increase in COVID-19 hotspots, especially in the City of Johannesburg.

“One of the signs of a significant surge or sometimes people call it ‘wave’ is that you have first an increase in the number of hotspots. Hotspots are clusters of positive cases that are located in small areas and then as a result of social interaction they are growing fairly fast. So, a sign that we are in the middle or progressing towards a second surge is that fact that these past couple of weeks, we have experienced in the province a significant increase in hotspots in the province,” says Wits University’s Professor Bruce Mellado, who is also a member of the Gauteng Premier’s COVID-19 Advisory Committee.

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