Phaahla worried about spiking COVID infections in pre-teens & teens in WC, NC

While this could be linked to the resumption of school, experts are linking it to increased social activities.

Minister of Health Joe Phaahla. Picture: @HealthZA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Health officials are on Friday concerned about a worrying escalation of COVID-19 infections among pre-teens and teenagers especially in the Western and Northern Cape.

While this could be linked to the resumption of schools, experts are linking it to increased social activities.

While children as young as 12 years are getting vaccines in some countries, including now in France, here on home soil, there is no such plans just yet.

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Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Friday said more children between the ages of 10 to 19 were testing positive in the Western and Northern Cape, which was of huge concern to the department.

“Young people engaging in parties without any precautions has played a major role as well.”

Phaahla has attributed this to possible complacency, resulting in the third wave now dragging on for longer than what scientists expected.

The Western Cape has a 27% daily positivity rate while the Northern Cape is battling with a 30% positivity rate.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health said it was exploring their options to limit anti-vaxxers' entertainment options.

Government is speaking to various forums about the possibility of making vaccines compulsory for some service providers providing entertainment but for now, no such decision has been made.

Earlier this week, Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba said she wanted to meet with the alcohol industry to discuss the possibly of only selling booze to people who've had their jab.

Phaahla said a national government regulation making vaccines mandatory was off the cards but
they were considering some local requirements.

“What is possible and what I believe we would consider is that certain service providers, areas of entertainment should protect each and every one.”

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