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‘Please consider the implications of letting your child attend gatherings’

Western Cape education MEC voices concern over pupils at social events

Social gatherings are contributing to the rise in Covid-19 infections at schools. Stock photo.
Social gatherings are contributing to the rise in Covid-19 infections at schools. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/rawpixel

Covid-19 cases at schools in the Western Cape are being fuelled by social events attended outside the classroom, provincial education MEC Debbie Schäfer warned on Tuesday.

There are 148 active cases among school staff and 314 among pupils in the province.

Schäfer said during the third wave of the pandemic “we are seeing more evidence of community-level transmission which in turn affects our schools”.

“While these cases are being reported by schools, the provincial department of health has indicated they are linked to social events rather than attendance at school. This is the same pattern we saw last year with the second wave,” she said.

Schäfer appealed to pupils to behave responsibly.

“It is all very well to follow the golden rules at school, but if they do not follow them when not at school, they put themselves, their families and their friends at risk.”

In an appeal to parents, the MEC said: “Please consider the implications of allowing your child to attend unnecessary gatherings.

“I understand that our pupils, and their parents, have been through a stressful time during this pandemic and want to relax and socialise with friends. But we cannot afford to let our guard down after school hours.

“The higher the rate of infection, the higher the chance of tighter restrictions.”

Pupils were urged to maintain social distancing, wear face masks and avoid large gatherings with poor ventilation in addition to washing hands.


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