He said such reckless behaviour had led to additional measures which would be implemented to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
“Many people consume alcoholic drinks at these ‘super-spreader’ events with the result that people become less careful about taking measures to protect themselves and prevent infection.”
They were the largest source of outbreaks.
Ramaphosa also said at many of these events – gatherings and parties – social distancing was not being observed, inadequately ventilated venues being crowded, hand sanitisers not being readily available and people not wearing masks.
“The sad truth about this pandemic is that festivals, concerts and parties – which should be occasions for fun and joy – are proving to be sources of infection and illness and may even lead to deaths,” Ramaphosa said.
Another factor in the rise in the numbers of infection was increased travel, he added.
A recent post-matric festival in KwaZulu-Natal, bore testament to both after nearly 1 000 youths from Gauteng tested positive for the deadly virus.
“The recent post-matric Rage festival event in Ballito is a harsh reminder of how dangerous large gatherings can be,” Ramaphosa said.
He added while it was confirmed that nearly 1 000 young people had tested positive, it remained unclear how many more people each of them could have infected.
“It is said that up to 300 families could in turn have been infected.”
He also indicated that if things were not done differently during this festive season, the new year would be greeted with sorrow, instead of joy.
“Many of our friends, relatives and co-workers will be infected, some will get severely ill and some, tragically, will die,” Ramaphosa said.
“This could be the last Christmas for many if things continue in the same trajectory.”
Last week, the Tshwane metro indicated that official statistics indicated potential of a spike in the number of active cases in the city if there wasn’t a behavioural by residents.
“Although this trend can be attributed to various reasons, it is generally agreed that a behavioural change by residents will be essential to prevent a full wave of the pandemic hitting Tshwane,” health MMC Sakkie du Plooy said.
He added that this would have “disastrous” consequences for the health system and the local economy.
Du Plooy said the city’s administration would, however, do its utmost to assist in preventing the virus from taking hold in Tshwane.
His department would continue to educate residents in hotspot areas while continuing to screen, test and carry out contact tracing where it was deemed necessary.
“The Tshwane metro police department will interact closely with the SAPS and other law enforcement bodies to ensure that individuals, business and other entities comply with Covid-19 regulations,” Du Plooy said.
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