Anti-vaxxers target Groote Schuur hospital in protest
An anti-vaccination protest is currently taking place outside Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town – despite authorities reiterating that taking the Covid-19 jab remains voluntary.
A group of protesters gathered outside the hospital in support of, among other issues, heart surgeon Dr Susan Vosloo, whose anti-vaccination message was last week rejected by healthcare professionals and the Netcare healthcare group.
Netcare hospital division managing director Jacques du Plessis said in a statement that Vosloo’s comments had “grave implications” for national and global efforts to curb the pandemic, and promptly disassociated the group from her controversial views.
But as time went on, it became clear there were quite a few citizens in support of her views, many of which are brandishing posters reading phrases such as ‘We support Susan Vosloo’ ‘I’m not a lab rat’ and ‘We do not consent to medical tyranny’.
SABC News reported earlier on Saturday the protest was organized by the People’s Health Movement South Africa and the Health Justice Initiative, but this has yet to be confirmed.
One protester told an SABC journalist earlier the vaccine could not be approved by any department because it was “dangerous”, and that it was important that South Africa took a stance against the incumbent mandatory Covid-19 vaccination of children.
She said more children died of flu than the “supposed Covid virus”, and questioned why children were required to wear masks.
In anticipation of the protest, the University of Cape Town’s health sciences faculty released a scathing statement, saying the Groote Schuur hospital being a site for the demonstration was a “disappointing development”, and reflected “a deep respect for the work done” at the hospital.
“The Faculty of Health Sciences places on record that the targeting of Groote Schuur Hospital represents a serious challenge to an institution and health facility which has become an icon of collaborative management of a complex health challenge”.
The City of Cape Town said it was aware of the protest, and implored participants to “act responsibly, to wear their masks and practice social distancing”.
We request those who plan to participate to please act responsibly, to wear their masks and practice social distancing, and to be mindful that gatherings must adhere to Covid-19 Regulations which stipulates that all gatherings be limited to no more than 100 people.
— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) August 21, 2021
However, many of the anti-vaxxers are also against wearing masks, with many deciding to go mask-free. Police are keeping a close eye on the scene.
Disaster Management Act regulations under the current adjusted lockdown level 3 indicate that gatherings are limited to 100 people.
Residents were told to report any instances of non-compliance to Covid-19 regulations to the police directly.
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