Government Says Masks Must Still Be Worn by Learners Despite Ditching Mandate for Schools Earlier

Government Says Masks Must Still Be Worn by Learners Despite Ditching Mandate for Schools Earlier

  • The National Department of Health overturned its decision to make wearing masks is not compulsory for school children
  • The decision to end face masks for learners was a human error which was not gazetted therefore it was retracted
  • South Africans were outrage over the retraction of learners not wearing masks and took to social media to air out their frustrations

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JOHANNESBURG - A mere few hours after it was announced that wearing face masks could be a thing of the past for primary and high school learners, the decision was overturned. The National Department of Health earlier announced that the wearing of face masks for school children is no longer compulsory.

The announcement was made on Wednesday night following the expiration of the national state of disaster. The department said other citizens are required to wear face masks indoors.

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Mask, mandate, removed at schools, Covid19, Department of Basic Education, overturned
The mandate to relax mask-wearing at schools has been overturned by the government. Image: Getty
Source: Getty Images

According to News24, the decision to end face masks for learners was a human error and it was not gazetted. The directive was retracted to avoid misunderstandings.

The department’s Deputy Director-General Doctor Nicholas Crisp commented on the time frame for public comments related to the regulations and said after consulting different people on the matter, it was determined that only basic education schools will be exempt from wearing masks.

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During an interview with SABC News, Crisp said: “It is the softening of just three regulations while the rest of the regulations are reviewed. There was a public consultation in process and there was an overwhelming response, we had over 300, 000 comments that came in.”

The department of health gazetted a few regulations related to wearing face masks, gatherings and travelling that are effective from today.

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Retraction sparks outrage

South Africans could not hold back their disdain for the overturned ruling and called out the government:

Beverley Chemel Bradshaw commented:

“And fall asleep during lessons because of lack of oxygen. Make sure classroom windows are open.”

Kwenzakwenkosi Joyful Mhlongo posted:

“So, you were expecting educators to wear masks and teach learners who are not wearing masks. Where's the logic?”

Kgabo Thubakgale wrote:

“Ministers are swimming in a river of confusion.”

Kgancho Komane said:

“Bathong, no one is in charge of this government.”

Melvin Mel added:

“Useless system.”

Over 3k new Covid19 Cases recorded in SA, Gauteng records the highest number of cases with KZN second

In a related story, Briefly News also reported Over 3 000 Covid-19 cases have been detected in South Africa, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD). The country’s also recorded a 22% rate of positive Covid-19 cases on Sunday 1 May.

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The number of laboratory-confirmed cases also increased to over three million with most being detected in Gauteng. The institution noted 44 hospital admissions over the past 24 hours.

The South African Medical Research Council’s (SAMRC) Dr Fareed Abdullah said there are warning signs of a fifth Covid-19 wave, however, it is still too early to declare a new wave. Eyewitness News reports since February cases were declining however the new sub-variant of Omicron has created an increase in infections. Abdullah said that it is too early to notice an increase in the death rate. He added that it is too early to tell the severity of the fifth wave.

Source: Briefly News

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