The mother of a 12-year-old learner who succumbed to COVID-19 over the weekend has spoken out about the safety of learners at school.

This, as KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, expressed concern about the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases at provincial schools.

In a media briefing over the weekend, the premier said that more than 800 learners and teachers have been affected by the virus.

The 12-year-old learner, Solice Kaitlyn Pillay has become a face to those numbers. Her mother, Karishma Pillay says measures need to be put into place to curb the spread of the virus.

“I think that, you know what, they are actually being very selfish because, a lot of children are picking up COVID, and teachers as well. For the safety of the learners, I’m sure they could do the work on worksheets, give it to the learners to come home, or give it to the parents to come and do it at home. That would actually be a better option. Because my child didn’t go anywhere. She was only in the house. So, the only place she went to was school, and she picked it up.”

Pillay describes the last few moments she spent with her daughter, Solice Kaitlyn Pillay.

“Saturday morning, I woke up. I fed her porridge. I gave her medication. Gave her some Lucozade and all of that. So, she said, ‘mummy, I’m ok, let me go and sleep.’ She went into the bed and she slept. And then she just woke up and she said, ‘mummy, I can’t breathe.’ She went to the toilet. She came out. And then I was rubbing her hand and I said, ‘baby fight, baby fight.’ And she said, ‘no mummy, I can’t. I just can’t make it anymore.’ She’s gone. That was the worst … to see your child die in your arms.”

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