The Head of government’s Advisory Committee on COVID-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, says statistics seem to indicate that the vast majority of children who contract the coronavirus suffer only mild symptoms.

His statement comes after Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced on Tuesday night that grades seven and 12 learners would return to school on June 1 in a phased-in approach.

Professor Karim has reassured parents that learners will be safe when they return to school.

He says, “The big issue is that this virus is here to stay, we will not be able to be protected from this virus from a vaccine for probably the next 12 to 18 months. We cannot simply go and lock ourselves away for that period, we have to go back to school, we have to go back to work and what we have to do is do that following the rules.”

In the video below the SABC speaks to Professor Salim Abdool Karim:

Mixed reactions to re-opening of schools in KwaZulu-Natal

Parents in KwaZulu-Natal have expressed mixed reactions to the reopening of schools.

Some say the department must be given a chance to proceed with the academic year, while others say they do not believe everyone can be home schooled and that it is too soon for schools to re-open as the number of coronavirus infections are still rising.

In the audio below, parents express their views:

INFOGRAPHIC: Back to school plan: