S/African schools ‘must shut down’ over pandemic – Opposition

All South African schools must be shut down within a week to stop the coronavirus pandemic's third wave from spreading…

All South African schools must be shut down within a week to stop the coronavirus pandemic’s third wave from spreading further across the country, an opposition leader said on Friday.Failure by the Ministry of Basic Education to order the closure of learning institutions, the schools would “face a forceful total shutdown,” opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema told a media briefing in Johannesburg.

“We give the Minister of Education seven days to close all schools, failing which, the EFF will be left with no choice but to close the schools down,” Malema said, adding that the lives of students were in danger with the third wave of Covid-19 and its soaring cases and fatalities.

The opposition leader’s “directive” follows the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD)’s announcement on Friday that South Africa is now “technically under a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.”

In the announcement, the NICD confirmed that 9,149 new cases of the coronavirus occurred overnight, with the case positivity rate standing at 15.7% following 58,322 Covid-19 tests during the same period – which is more than three times what is considered acceptable by the health ministry.

In addition, a further 100 people had died in the past 24 hours from the pandemic, bringing a total of 57,410 fatalities to date since the first case of the disease was reported  in the country in March 2020.

The education ministry has not yet responded to the opposition leader’s directive to close the schools down amid the third wave of the pandemic.

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