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S/Africa’s schools to remain open amid new Covid-19 restrictions – Minister

South African schools will remain open in spite of the country undergoing new tighter coronavirus restrictions due to the current…

South African schools will remain open in spite of the country undergoing new tighter coronavirus restrictions due to the current surge in Covid-19’s third wave, Basic Educations and Training Minister Angie Motshekga has said.The minister said this in response to opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s demand that leaving schools open during the third wave risked students dying from the deadly viral disease. 

Failing to close down the schools, the EFF would take the law into its own hands to do so, Malema warned.

Motshekga, however, said her ministry had no plans to shut down schools as Covid-19 cases would be “handled according to the differentiated risk adjustment strategy the country has put in place.”

In this regard, the minister announced that nearly 600,000 teachers and staff, regardless of age, would be vaccinated starting on 23 June in an exercise set to end on 8 July as one strategy to protect the students in the classroom.

This would “hopefully normalise schooling,” she added.

Meanwhile, the country’s third wave surge reached another record high on Saturday, with a record 13,575 new coronavirus cases — representing a positivity rate of 23.2% and bringing the country’s total to 1,810,164 cases, the health ministry said.

According to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Gauteng province accounted for 64% of the new cases, followed by Western Cape province with 11% of new infections.

With the record high viral cases, South Africans also witnessed a high fatality figure of 149 more deaths recorded, bringing the country’s total death toll so far to 58,590 people by Saturday evening, the NICD said.

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