There are two ways of looking at this video from the Eastern Cape. Either the teenager in question is acting recklessly, or it’s just another case of ‘boys will be boys’. A clip of a learner from the Makaula Secondary School has been viewed more than 100 000 times online after he took a hospital trolley for a joyride.

The brief clip shows the student scooting up and down the hospital ward, while a classmate films it. They are part of a group of more than 200 students who came down with COVID-19 at Makuala last week. Now in isolation, it seems they’ve been left to create their own form of entertainment.

In all honesty, this budget remake of Fast And Furious doesn’t look too bad…

Watch the “trolley-dash teen” on the COVID-19 ward here

Eastern Cape officials issue a response

However, the viral video hasn’t escaped the attention of the local health department. Officials in the Eastern Cape thought it would be appropriate to issue a statement on the matter, condemning the youngster’s actions. Although they praised his “high spirit”, they weren’t impressed with what they saw in this clip.

“Being in quarantine or isolation does not mean people are on holiday. While we have noted the learner is energetic and in high spirit, meaning he will easily beat COVID-19, the video is condemned in the strongest words possible”.

Eastern Cape health department

A vast majority on social media disagreed with the local government, and leapt to the defence of the pupil:

Eastern Cape facing “COVID-19 disaster”

The Eastern Cape, meanwhile, is facing a looming health crisis. After recording more than 25 000 cases since March, with the second-highest fatality numbers in the country (387), COVID-19 has got the province in its grip. Shadow health minister Siviwe Gwarube believes regional officials have bigger issues to tackle:

“More people in the Eastern Cape will die if urgent action is not taken. It is simply not enough for Minister Mkhize to send in a few people to support the province. An entire operational team is needed that will support facilities as a matter of urgency and close management is needed to prevent people from dying senselessly.”

“This government cannot ignore the plight of thousands of people in the Eastern Cape who are dying due to years of neglect of the health system. As the various parts of the country experience the crushing effects of this pandemic, every effort must be made to ensure that the system serves people as much as possible.”

Siviwe Gwarube

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Presh JM Reporter

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