Schools must remain open, teachers not at higher risk than public – Prof Karim

Professor Karim

Professor Salim Abdool Karim

Professor Salim Abdool Karim says there isn’t any evidence that the pandemic is being spread in schools.

He maintains that most cases, be they teachers or pupils, originate from outside. Karim feels that children, countrywide, should stay at school if safety measures are up to standard.

“I think at this point, even though cases are rising, the actual fraction of infections is quite small, and so at this stage if the rules are followed, if we make sure we have social distancing and that we follow protocols that have been recommended for schools, there should really be no concerns that children will be at great risk when going to school,” says Karim.

ALSO READ | DA goes to court to keep schools open

EFF’s MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has been on social media criticising Karim for steering the government into opening businesses and schools. This is after the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended a country move up lockdown levels when Covid-19 cases decrease.

Karim, as chairperson of the Covid-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee, also says teachers don’t face a stronger risk of being infected at school than the rest of the population.

In his opinion, supermarket and health workers face the most risk in their workplace. This analysis was based on Covid-19 data collected in Gauteng.

Statistically, he says in 98% of cases in which teachers were infected, pupils weren’t.

“There is no strong case to be made in that teachers are at higher risk,” he concludes.