COVID-19 in SA: Children under 6 don't have to wear masks

JOHANNESBURG - Under Lockdown level 3, children under six are not required to wear a mask in public.

That's according to the recently amended Disaster Management Act published on 11 January.

There have been concerns about this decision, given there are still many questions around the new coronavirus variant.

READ: Mask laws 'not an idle threat'

Health Expert and CEO of Proactive Health Solutions,  Dr Fundile Nyati, explained: "I think the National Disaster Act is following the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"The WHO has actually said, as much as it's desirable that everyone should take precautions, but for children (under the age of five years old) they have come to the conclusion that looking at all the data in terms of prevalence and risk but also children under that age tend not to put the mask on correctly. They think the risk of not using the mask isn't so much in that group."

Nyati said children with pre-existing conditions should wear masks and their parents should consult with their doctors.

He said the WHO recommends a risk-based approach for children between the ages of six and 12.


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