The Northern Cape Education Department has recorded over 400 COVID-19 cases across provincial schools in the last week.  This has led to the temporary closure of seven schools in the province.

The department is forced to close schools weekly to allow for disinfection of affected premises.

The department has raised concerns about the continuous loss of learning time due to the sporadic closure of schools.

Provincial education spokesperson is Geoffrey van der Merwe says, “The new COVID-19 infections include 28 educators, 367 learners and 15 support staff at various schools. We currently have seven schools that are closed in the province to allow for contact tracing and the disinfection of school premises.”

“The department is concerned about the continuous learning losses suffered and the sporadic closure of schools due to the pandemic. This continues to take a devastating toll on the academic performance of learners and their preparedness for the examinations. It’s clear that the academic recovery will take much longer than expected, whilst the current reality is placing a massive strain on the entire education sector”

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported 4 118 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 824 063.

This increase represents a 14.0% positivity rate. As per the National Department of Health, a further 198 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 83 617 to date

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