South African music festival halted after dozens of positive COVID-19 tests on site
A South African music festival has been halted after dozens of COVID-19 tests carried out on site returned positive, The Toronto Sun reported.
The Ballito Rage music festival kicked off on Tuesday in the town of Ballito, located on the east coast of South Africa.
In the first eight hours of the festival, 940 people in attendance took COVID-19 tests and 32 festival goers and four staff members tested positive, according to the Sun.
It is not known whether they tested positive for the new variant of omicron, a discovery which South African health officials first confirmed at a press conference the previous Thursday. Officials at the time said the variant was “very different” from past COVID-19 mutations.
The Ballito Rage Festival was one of many matrix parties – events for high school students who have just finished their exams – taking place across the country.
“We take the safety of all of our customers, employees and suppliers very seriously,” the festival said in a statement, according to the Sun. “It is for this reason that the event organizers made the decision to cancel the rest of Ballito Rage.”
South African authorities reported 4,373 new COVID infections on Tuesday, the Sun reported. New daily infections in the country are expected to reach 10,000 by the end of the week.
In a speech to the nation on Sunday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called for public events to be canceled.
“The holiday season and year-end matrix raves and other celebrations should ideally be postponed, and every person should think twice before attending or holding a gathering,” said Ramaphosa.