- KwaZulu-Natal's premier, Sihle Zikalala, does not advise matrics to hold large gatherings to celebrate the end of their final exams
- He fears that these parties can become superspreader events for the Omicron variant, which is highly transmissible amongst younger people
- South Africans had mixed reactions to the premier's statement, which some applauding him, and others feeling sorry for the matrics who have to miss out on the celebrations
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DURBAN - Sihle Zikalala, the premier of KwaZulu-Natal, has warned the province's matric students against holding parties to celebrate the end of their final exams, as he fears it could lead to cluster breakouts of Covid-19.
The new Omicron variant reportedly transmits easier amongst younger people, which is the source of Zikalala's concern. He said that post-matric parties have a tendency to ignore Covid-19 protocols, which makes them dangerous.
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According to TimesLIVE, there is a trend of matric students going to the province to celebrate the end of their final exams and high school careers. Binge-drinking and overfull venues make these parties Covid-19 breeding grounds.
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“We want to reiterate that these are superspreader activities which endanger the lives of young people and expose them, and ultimately all those around them, to the deadly coronavirus and the new Omicron variant," Zikalala said.
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IOL reports that Dr Barney Mthembu, the head of KZN's education department, supports Zikalala's view. He expressed his belief that the students who attend these gatherings are likely to not sanitise and wear masks during the parties, which increases their risk of contracting the Omicron variant.
Mthembu visited Westville Prison, where many inmates are currently completing their matric exams in the hopes of attaining qualifications they did not get before. The department head encouraged the prisoners to use the opportunity to show that they are trying to improve the course of their lives.
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Reactions to no end of exam celebrations for matrics
"Now matric parties are super spreader, yet election campaigns were not. Wow."
"I feel so sorry for the matrics of last year and this year. It's supposed to be such a special time in your life, matric dances and parties and they don't get to do any of this. Even the Valedictory lunches and school celebrations are changed or cancelled. So unfair for them."
"You're right. But I do have sympathy, cause I remember highschool problems (dance dates, sports teams, party invites, matric rage) feeling like the entire world at that time. In retrospect it was all silly and life only begins after school."
Ballito Rage festival gets cancelled after staff and matriculants test positive for Covid19
Earlier Briefly News reported that the matric event of the year known as the Ballito Rage festival has now been cancelled after 32 guests and four staffers tested positive for Covid19.
Last year's party event was labelled a superspreader event after close to a thousand matriculants tested positive for the coronavirus just as they returned home.
The organisers of the event had made a commitment not to repeat last year's disaster by mandating attendees and employees to be vaccinated and subjecting them to mandatory Covid testing.
Source: Briefly News