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David Jesse, Durban: 6 May reopening of schools poses a grave danger

By opening schools too early, the South African government literally puts thousands of children’s lives at risk, according to this reader.


Photo: Adobe Stock

As a full-time academic author and scientist, I have conducted research on tropical infectious disease, including HIV/Aids in the 1990s.

Due to the epidemiology of COVID-19 and material aspects of it known as antigenic drift and antigenic shift 65% of South Africa could become infected by November and some 50 000 die.

Parents – act wisely

By opening schools too early the South African government literally puts thousands of children’s lives at risk.

They should not go back to school until the virus is eradicated or a vaccine has been achieved. It is unlikely a vaccine will be achieved because of what we call antigenic drift and antigenic shift.

Basically it means the virus mutates or changes form ever so slightly during replication.

South Africa will not reach peak infection until November 2020, with cases escalating incrementally until then.

Possibly 65% of our population will succumb to the virus.

Is a lost child worth it?

Education is a long-distance race, not a sprint, and government’s knee-jerk reaction will have dire consequences.

This is not “flu” we are facing. It is for many, a killer virus. The United States (US) has a million infections and 60 000 people have already died after being infected by the virus.

The threat is far from over. No-one understands the epidemiology of this virus. It is changing virtually daily.