Concerns are being raised over public schools returning to daily attendance in July after reports of over 1000 children testing positive for COVID-19 have hit the Gauteng province.
Amid the third wave of the pandemic public schools in the province are being monitored for the high spike in infections over the past week.
With an average of over 3500 new infections daily, the province is a COVID-19 hotspot with many calling for tighter restrictions and extensive contact tracing.
Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona says “the department is monitoring the situation closely. We can confirm that a growing number of children in our schools are testing positive for COVID-19. We are concerned about the numbers and saying everyone has a role to play to stop the spread.”
Since the beginning of June, the department has reported over 3,315 cases at schools.
Also read: Reporting of COVID-19 cases by schools
Latest reports shows a huge spike in COVID-19 cases in the province with up to 24 043 new cases in seven days.
Meanwhile, the Educators Union of South Africa (EUSA) has called for the closure of schools across the country over concerns around the rising COVID-19 cases.
The union’s concerns are that with Gauteng, the Free State and the Eastern Cape already in the third wave, the country will soon follow suit. The union claims that safety protocols are being ignored and the interests of the public aren’t being considered.