‘Worrying trend’: Young people between ages 10 and 19 testing positive

According to Health Minister Joe Phaahla, the increase in young people testing positive for COVID-19, is mainly taking place in two provinces.

‘Worrying trend’: Young people between ages 10 and 19 testing positive

We despise worrying trends, don’t we? Unfortunately, there is an uptick of young people between the ages of 10 and 19 testing positive for COVID-19….and mainly in two SA provinces. 

Newly-appointed Health Minister Joe Phaahla held a media briefing on Friday 27 August 2021 and revealed that besides a prolonged third wave, more young people are becoming infected. 

HERE’S WHY MORE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

So even though the average positivity rate is 19%, the Western Cape and Northern Cape are recording a much higher positive rate at 27% and 30% respectively. 

“The Northern Cape has remained high over a prolonged period,” said Phaahla. 

“A very worrying trend is that in both provinces there has been younger people between ages 10-19 years testing positive,” he added.  

Why is this? Well, according to the Health Department, some clusters can be traced to the reopening of schools but there are also indications of social activities such as partying without precautions.

The third wave is, therefore, dragging on longer and in the absence of new variants it can only mean that more people are not taking precautions, he said.  

“The risk is that by the time we hit the fourth wave driven by a new variant we could be found still in medium trend of the third wave, which will mean very little break for our health workers,” added Phaahla. 

A MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY? 

While vaccinations have opened up to those aged between 18 and 35, there is still no news of young people or those under 18 being able to get the vaccine. 

In other news though, Phaahla said a suggestion has been made by various influential people in society that they should consider mandatory vaccination policy. 

“We are discussing this at various forums and considering options,” he said. 

Another 2.2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccines are set to arrive on Saturday 28 August adding to the 5.6 million government received in July. Phaahla said this donation will reinforce our stock levels.

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Third and fourth wave could OVERLAP, says Phaahla