Prof. Salim Abdool Karim, Chairperson of the COVID-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee, says teachers do not have an increased risk of being infected with COVID-19 during school than the general population.
This as the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) organised a national shutdown on Monday to have private schools closed.
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a four-week break for public schools, which excluded private schools.
Prof. Karim, says supermarket employees and health workers have a higher risk of getting infected in the workplace than teachers. He made the analysis based on COVID-19 data from the Gauteng province.
He says that in 98% of schools where teachers were infected with COVID-19, there were no reported cases in learners.
“There’s no strong case to be made in that teachers are at higher risk. If you think that teachers are at higher risk, then you shouldn’t open any business because everybody is at that same kind of risk,” says Prof. Karim.
There has been a public outcry against the opening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, with reported cases in schools across South Africa.