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Prof Salim Abdool Karim calls for legal action against super-spreader event organisers who break rules

09 December 2020 - 09:30 By unathi nkanjeni
Prof Salim Abdool Karim believes the organisers of super-spreader events should be held accountable. File photo.
Prof Salim Abdool Karim believes the organisers of super-spreader events should be held accountable. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

One of the SA health experts involved in the fight against Covid-19, Prof Salim Abdool Karim, has lamented the impact of super-spreading events like the recent 2020 Ballito Rage Festival, saying if the organisers are found to have broken the rules they should be legally charged.

This comes after close to 100 Covid-19  infections have been linked to the Ballito Rage festivities.

The event took place from November 27 to December 4 in KwaZulu-Natal. Several other editions of the annual party have either been cancelled or postponed.

Speaking on CapeTalk, Abdool Karim said he was concerned about the number of Covid-19 infections linked to the event and urged everyone who attended the festival to self-quarantine.

He said he was also concerned about the upcoming public holiday, December 16.

“My big concern is December 16 because that’s when industries and factories close. We will have hundreds of thousands of people moving, going to their homes, to their families, and a lot of people heading to the sea, so that’s the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape,” said Abdool Karim.

The expert told IOL SA's Covid-19 cases were suggesting the country is “entering into a pathway that will take us into a second wave”.

“If the event organisers are found to have broken the rules, in my view they should be charged and all the individuals who have acquired infection and are now quarantined should consider suing them for loss of income,” he said.

Speaking to TimesLIVE on Monday, Abdool Karim said there was still hope a second wave could be prevented by tracing everyone who attended the event.

“It does not mean that automatically we will see a big epidemic because it all depends on how quickly we can find the cases and how many of those who went to Rage are going into quarantine,” he said.

“If they can do all of that, we can bring the cases back down. If we can't do that, then the cases will continue to increase.”

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