• Map identifies COVID-19 super-spreader events across the world

    Date:12 October 2020 Author: Leila Stein

    COVID-19 is a virus which can cause serious symptoms, but it also can hide and infect people who are not aware they have come into contact with it. As a result, gatherings in large groups have become known as super-spreader events.

    The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has been mapping these events as they are reported across the globe. Currently, South Africa has only had two identified events, with the rest of the COVID-19 spread happening on smaller scales.

    Reasons for these events are given in the map and include: religious gatherings, prisons, restaurants, bars, nursing homes, cruise ships and meat processing factories.

    Interestingly, the South African events were both linked to religious gatherings. The identified events were the Jerusalem prayer breakfast in Bloemfontein and a funeral gathering in Nelson Mandela Bay.

    The prayer breakfast happened early in the South African outbreak, however it has since become known as a serious kickstart for the spread of the virus in the country. A hefty 67 cases were traced to the event and this pushed the government to ban large religious meetings.

    The funeral gathering in Nelson Mandela Bay happened slightly later, but before the country went into lockdown. There, 54 people in the area who had COVID-19 had attended the same funeral.

    These are just the events that have been identified as a result of contact-tracing, it is possible there were others that had not been identified as well.

    Picture: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine/ Screenshot

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    October 2020