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South Africa reopens more schools despite rising COVID-19 deaths

South Africa has announced reopening of more schools despite an upsurge in confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country.

Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga in a statement on Sunday announced that from July 6, schools would again reopen for Grades R, 6 and 11 learners.

The decision was made despite increased death rate in the country due to COVID-19.

As of Sunday, the World Health Organisation, WHO had listed Egypt as the highest country with about 3,280 COVID-19 deaths, in Africa followed by South Africa with 3,026 fatalities and Algeria with 946 deaths.

Motshekga instructed provinces that were not prepared to receive Grade R on July 6 to compulsorily provide realizable plans for ensuring the reincorporation of Grade R learners to schools within, but not later than the end of July 2020.

On June 8, South Africa reopened schools for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners in its first phase of school reopening.

Since then, about 2,740 teachers have been infected by the virus.

Responding to concerns on reopening of schools despite surge in coronavirus cases, the minister urged everyone to simply abide by the health, safety and social distancing protocols on COVID-19.

“Failure to do so, the road ahead will be difficult for all of us,” Motshekga added.

According to the minister, the number of teachers infected is less than one percent of the total number of about 440,000 teachers in the country, NAN reports.
“1,260 learners were also infected with Coronavirus translating to 0.01 per cent of the total number of Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners.

“ 968 schools out of the total number of 25,762 schools have been closed due to transmissions among teachers and learners.
“Eleven teachers and 4 non-teaching staff members died of COVID-19 complications,” the minister added.

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