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Desperate to socialise, less-at-risk young Capetonians are spreading Covid-19

14 October 2020 9:38 AM

"It’s been very hard for everyone, especially for them [teenagers]," says Dr Karen van Kets.

Don't kill granny.

UK public health message to young people
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Young South Africans – especially wealthy ones – are partying and spreading Covid-19.

Schools and doctors are issuing letters, pleading with learners and their parents that we’re not yet at the stage where we can socialise like before.

At least 63 young people – 37 of them still at school in the southern suburbs - contracted Covid-19 in super-spreader event almost two weeks ago.

The infections were traced back to a party held with discounted alcohol at the Tin Roof in Claremont.

Lester Kiewit interviewed a cosignatory of such a letter, Dr Karen van Kets.

He also spoke to Mark Smith, the Principal at Westerford High School.

Four or five days after the night in question, lots of young people started coming in with symptoms… We asked questions… and put two and two together… We alerted the tracing team… and tried to limit the spread…

Dr Karen van Kets, General Practitioner - Southern Suburbs

We know it has been very hard for everyone, especially for them [teenagers]… They want to see their friends… This is not an isolated incident; there are 18th birthday parties… This event was just bigger…

Dr Karen van Kets, General Practitioner - Southern Suburbs

We’re social beings! We need it! But we need to think about how to do it safely… We need to think about ‘us’ not ‘I’. We need to think about ‘we’ and not ‘me’. It’s hard for some people to do…

Dr Karen van Kets, General Practitioner - Southern Suburbs

Children can get infected… but not quite to the extent of older teens and young adults… We need to be careful about spending time with grandparents, older aunts and uncles…

Dr Karen van Kets, General Practitioner - Southern Suburbs

We hope the parents are reading our emails… asking them to keep children in a safer environment…

Mark Smith, Principal - Westerford High School

One exam missed gives you an 'incomplete' on your record… If someone arrives, and they’re not well, we don’t allow them in…

Mark Smith, Principal - Westerford High School

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


14 October 2020 9:38 AM

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