South Africa: Paediatricians Support Move to Reopen Schools


The South African Paediatric Association (SAPA) supports the government's position that children should return to school today. One of the reasons is that children are less susceptible to the virus.

In a statement, SAPA says there is uncertainty about the future trajectory of Covid-19 in South Africa, with more infections and a long duration being predicted.

"Children biologically contain SARS-CoV-2 better than adults, are less likely to get sick if infected, have milder disease, are unlikely to die from Covid-19, and are probably less infectious than adults. Although children are at higher risk of being infected once at school, this additional risk to themselves and others is outweighed by the benefits of them returning to school," the paediatricians say. We publish their full statement below.


There is controversy regarding the imminent reopening of schools in South Africa with conflicting views expressed by government, teacher trade unions, political parties, civil society organisations, school governing bodies, and parents, among others. This has led to much parental, caregiver, and child anxiety about whether children should return to school.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has proposed a staggered reintroduction of public schooling, with learners in Grades 7 and 12 starting school on...

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