By Kaya 959 News
Department of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to address the country on Saturday on her department’s response to the impact of COVID-19 on schooling.
The briefing is due to take place at 2pm and it is unclear if it will have an impact on the department’s plan to have all school pupils back at school on 27 July.
In the last week, South Africa has recorded over 39 000 new COVID-19 infections.
At least 30 more teachers and learners have tested positive at Houghton’s King Edward VII School.
In the last month, the school recorded more than 60 cases.
In a letter to parents, the school said the boys were in Grades 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 and were a mix between day learners and boarders.
Officials say the boys could have been infected at school or at the boarding facility.
KES said while the levels of infection were worrying, they were hoping that the break from face-to-face classes will break any possible in-school transmissions any further.
“Please ensure that you have your son tested if he shows any symptoms and please take note that some direct contacts have remained asymptomatic and still tested positive,” the school said.
KES said it remained imperative that all known direct contact remain in quarantine for 10 days.
Increase in Gauteng cases
At least 19 other schools across Gauteng have had to close due to an increase in COVID infections. The province currently accounts for the highest number of positive cases.
The National Institute Communicable Diseases said South Africa on Thursday recorded 11 767 new cases.
“The total number of cases yesterday is lower than yesterday but higher than the average number of new cases per day over the seven preceding days. The positivity has increased from Wednesday,” the NICD said.
It said 64% of the cases are from Gauteng.
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research senior researcher, Dr Ridhwaan Suliman, said Gauteng is the epicentre of the country’s third wave. He said the province’s thirdwave is expected to surpass first and second wave figures.
He warned ‘fellow Gautengers’ to take extra precaution.
“The 3rd wave of hospitalisations is here! #COVID19 numbers are about to exceed previous peaks. We’re entering uncharted territory. How high we go is still up to us, and our collective behaviour!,” he tweeted.
In his speech to the country this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa, said Gauteng has been the worst hit of all the provinces.
“The increase in infections in Gauteng is now faster and steeper than it was at the same time in previous waves. Within a matter of days, it is likely that the number of new cases in Gauteng will surpass the peak of the second wave. Private hospitals in the province have reported that they are near capacity,” he said.
[Thread] Dear fellow Gautengers
A plea to take extra precaution🙏
The 3rd wave of hospitalisations is here! #COVID19 numbers are about to exceed previous peaks. We're entering uncharted territory. How high we go is still up to us,and our collective behaviour!#Rid1TweetsonCovid pic.twitter.com/Qk9DXwBjB7
— Ridhwaan Suliman (@rid1tweets) June 16, 2021
He said the steep surge in cases is not just due to increased testing.
“Testing rate has increased but that’s because there are more infections and more people presenting for testing,” he said.
Suliman said the increase in test positivity rate confirms there are still more undetected/unreported cases,