Concerns about the increasing rate of COVID-19 infections among children

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As coronavirus infections continue to rise across South Africa, there are concerns about the increasing rate of infections among children. This week, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) released the quarterly COVID-19 in Children Surveillance Report.

The report reveals that 9.4% of confirmed COVID-19 cases are among children aged 18-years and under.

They also account for 3.8% of all COVID-19-associated hospital admissions.

But, CEO of the National Professional Teacher’s Union (NAPTOSA), Thirona Moodley, says the data is not compelling enough to call for a closure of schools.

“At this point, NAPTOSA believes that it would actually be premature to make any decisions to close schools and this is for various reasons. The first is that the numbers at this point in time don’t warrant it. For that reason, NAPTOSA would be closely monitoring the numbers and the infections that are finding themselves in the schools. At this time, we must just keep cool about it, we must also be on the side of safety and health, on the one hand, but also to consider the learning losses that the children have experienced in 2020, some of which may never ever be caught up with.”

Full interview with Thirona Moodley on Lotus FM’s Newsbreak:

The Department of Health has expressed concern over an increase in the number of new daily coronavirus cases in Gauteng, the North West, the Northern Cape and the Free State.

Higher Health CEO, Professor Ramneek Ahluwalia on increase in COVID-19 infections:

The department has called on the public to continue adhering to strict COVID-19 health protocols to help avoid a third wave of infections.

South Africa has recorded 4 424 new coronavirus infections in the last 24-hour cycle, taking the total number to 1 649 977. The country has also recorded 93 new COVID-19 related fatalities on Thursday. This brings the total number of deaths to 56 170.