Coronavirus: Religious gatherings such as in Moria ‘concerning’

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said he is concerned about upcoming religious events that involve people gathering en mass, making them vulnerable when it comes to COVID-19.

Members of the Zion Christian Church. Picture: @MotsepeFoundtn/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - With the Easter holidays coming up next month, health officials have raised concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) during mass religious gatherings.

Every year, tens of thousands of worshippers head to Moria in Limpopo for the Zion Christian Church (or ZCC) pilgrimage.

Many congregants also come from other African countries in order to attend the gathering.

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said he was concerned about upcoming religious events that involved people gathering en mass, making them vulnerable when it comes to COVID-19.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize will be meeting with health MECs from all provinces at 6 pm on Thursday to discuss the government's strategy after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic.

Masuku said the concerns about public gatherings would also be discussed at the meeting.

“The one thing that I’m certain about is that when we come out of the meeting, the National Health Council will be able to develop a guideline that will take us forward,” the MEC said.

It was not yet clear whether government will follow Lesotho, the US, and India by declaring travel restrictions for South Africa.

By Wednesday, South Africa had 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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