Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

The International Conference on Aids and STIs in Africa (Icasa) in Durban has cancelled in-person attendance after a “number of delegates… tested positive during registration

According to the national health department, only speakers, rapporteurs, media and technical support staff will be allowed to attend physically when the conference begins in Durban on Monday.

“The week-long conference was always planned to be hybrid, with 750 physical delegates at Durban ICC with the rest joining virtually. Logistical arrangements for all delegates who had planned to attend physically are currently under way,” a statement read.

The decision came after KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala announced on Sunday that the province had officially entered its fourth wave of Covid-19 infections. KwaZulu-Natal recorded significant increases in daily infection rates and the number of people requiring hospitalisation and intensive care unit beds, said Zikalala.

Over two weeks, the province’s test positivity rate had jumped from 0.7% to 12.7%, said Zikalala.

Organisations said the cancellation of in-person events should “ensure that the conference does not become a super-spreader event and further contribute to the fourth wave”.

The statement read: The recommendation is informed by the prevailing fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic and the number of delegates who tested positive during registration.

Deputy President David Mabuza will physically attend the conference and deliver the keynote address at the opening ceremony, along with Health Minister Joe Phaahla and the leadership of the Society for Aids in Africa.

If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, read Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can’t find the facts you’re looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.

By Joy

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