'Super-spreader' club gathering leaves 63 with COVID-19

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Western Cape provincial government has called on youth and business to play their part in staying safe.  

This comes after a cluster outbreak, where 63 cases were linked to a club in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. Half of the infected are reportedly matric learners.

“Given that these cases were predominantly seen to by private sector facilities, the Western Cape Department of Health was alerted by General Practitioners in the area that a pattern had emerged around residents of a similar age,” Premier Alan Winde said on Wednesday. 

Winde said they have since learnt that the lockdown regulations and safety protocols were breached.  

“The people involved didn’t behave in a way that was needed to keep themselves and others safe, by either not wearing their masks properly or at all, or by attending large gatherings, where distancing and ventilation is difficult or even impossible.”

The provincial government has since instituted a full investigation into the club in question. The South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Western Cape Liquor Authority are also part of the investigation.

According to the preliminary investigation, 37 of the infected are matric learners, who attend various schools in the southern suburbs, most of them private.

“Our teams have contacted all of the schools and are ensuring that the necessary protocols are being followed,” said Winde.

However, the Premier said this is no indication that the province is experiencing a “second wave”.

“It is one cluster that demonstrates the potential for a spread, which continues even while our hospitalisations and deaths stabilise.

“We are nevertheless extremely worried that this particular event is indicative of younger residents not adhering to the important behaviours we need to prevent a new spike of infections.”

Winde said this demonstrates clearly that some establishments are not following the important health and safety guidelines and legal regulations put in place to stop the spread.

“It is critical that we all, regardless of our age, play a role in keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe,” he said, adding that it requires both individual and business responsibility.

Winde has urged citizens to always wear a mask, keep their distance, avoid large gatherings where there is bad ventilation, and wash hands regularly.

“All private establishments must adhere to the law.

“We also fully understand that there is enormous fatigue. We have been through so much already, and we have all worked so hard.”

He also thanked everyone person who continues to play their part in fighting the virus.

Winde said the best defence is people's behaviour.

"Our teams will continue to work around the clock to detect and respond to clusters outbreaks, wherever they emerge. But we need your help.

“Please do stay safe, so that we can keep moving forward together.” – SAnews.gov.za 

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