The Department of Health confirmed that there has been an error in the media statement issued on Thursday, 5 May regarding the removal of face mask-wearing by children at school.
According to the department, this is not part of the gazetted health regulations and was therefore retracted to avoid any misunderstanding of the regulations.
The department said, face masks are an effective non-pharmaceutical intervention against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it is more relevant now as the number of COVID-19 positive cases is rising once again.
“Children like other people are expected to continue complying with the provisions of Regulation 16A on face masks in the classrooms and general indoor gatherings, unlike outdoors in playgrounds and sports fields,” The department said.
The new health regulations come after Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, announced on Wednesday, a three-month extension for public comments on health regulations relating to the management of COVID-19.
The comments relate to the Surveillance and Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions; Public Measures in Points of Entry Management of Human Remains and Environmental Health by three months.
The extension was with effect from 5 May 2022. The new closing date for submission of comments is 5 July 2022. These regulations mainly focus on the wearing of face masks, gatherings and persons entering the country.
Meanwhile, the department has been receiving lots of feedback from the public since announcing the extension of the public consultation process together with the introduction of limited health regulations meant to manage the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and future notifiable medical conditions.
As of today the cumulative number of #COVID19 cases identified in SA is 3 818 125 with 9 757 new cases reported. Today 64 deaths have been reported bringing the total to 100 471 deaths. The cumulative number of recoveries now stand at 3 668 982 with a recovery rate of 96,1% pic.twitter.com/ON3rugLRm7
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) May 5, 2022