Despite an increase in COVID-19 cases, South Africa to drop masks for kids

Edited By: Tanisha Rajput
Johannesburg, South Africa Updated: May 06, 2022, 12:21 AM(IST)

The health ministry announced that regulations requiring all students to wear masks in class expired at midnight ad were not renewed. Photograph:( AFP )

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Adults are still required to wear masks in public indoor locations, and there are still limits on the number of people for gatherings

Despite an outbreak of the coronavirus caused by two new Omicron sub-variants of coronavirus; BA.4 and BA.5, South Africa has now put an end to school children wearing masks on Thursday (May 5).

The health ministry announced that regulations requiring all students to wear masks in class expired at midnight ad were not renewed. However, adults are still required to wear masks in public indoor locations, and there are still limits on the number of people for gatherings.

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The country has officially reported over 3.8 million infected cases and 100,407 fatalities, the highest toll in Africa and yet just around half of the adult population has been properly vaccinated. Following a brief break in April, the number of cases has been in the country has been steadily increasing with reporting more than 6,100 cases on Wednesday (May 4).

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The ministry in a statement said, “The only way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones against this pandemic and the current rising number of positive cases is through vaccination and adhering to preventative measures at all times.”

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Indoor gatherings are limited to half of the venue capacity or 1,000 people and outdoor events can have 2,000 people with a negative covid test report. The inbound travellers are expected to be fully vaccinated and if not, to submit their negative covid test report. 

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organisation chief on Wednesday said that the two Omicron sub-variant are to be blamed for the increase in infections in the country. He further said, “too soon to know whether these new sub-variants can cause more severe disease than other Omicron sub-variants."
(With inputs from agencies)

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