children less likely to get ill, says expert

children less likely to get ill, says expert

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DURBAN – Children are much less likely to get ill from Covid-19 compared to adults.

This is according to a senior epidemiologist at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases’ Centre for HIV and STIs, Dr Tendesayi Kufa-Chakezha.

She said that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, children (those younger than 20) had made up 9.4% of all Covid-19 cases and have contracted Covid-19 at a rate that was 5.5 times less than the rate at which adults have been contracting Covid-19.

“Children have made up 3.8% of all Covid-19 admissions and have been admitted at a rates 13 times lower than that in adults,” she said.

Kufa-Chakezha said with schools returning “to normal” from July 26, this provided enough time to monitor cases both in adults and in children and to make changes as needed.

“In the past, we have not seen differences in the extent to which children are affected by Covid-19 between the first and second waves,” she said.

Kufa-Chakezha said although children were much less likelly than adults to get Covid-19, they could still get it.

“Of course, parents should be concerned, particularly if their children have underlying conditions. They should make sure that children are washing their hands, wearing their masks and practising social distance,” she said.

Last week, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that learners from Grades R to 7 will return to school daily from next month. Motshekga gazetted the regulations on Friday.

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