COVID-19 in SA: Gauteng concerned about schools reopening

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the Provincial Command Council is concerned about the reopening of schools in just over two weeks’ time.

Gauteng’s COVID-19 cases are spiking – and more than 4,000 people have been admitted to both private and public hospitals.

With 2-million pupils in the province – and the new variant affecting more young people than ever before – the reopening of schools is a worry.

The premier said the final decision is being left up to the National Education Department.

Many people are making their way back home from festive season holidays making the Gauteng Provincial Command Council concerned about the rising infection rate.

Meanwhile, pupils and their parents are preparing for the 2021 academic year – with schools expected to reopen on the 27th of January.

The PCC says this is another concern for them.

Makhura said, “in Gauteng, we have more than two million learners. Some of these schools have 1,500 children. The schools are a big concern for us and we expressed that in the next two weeks we expressed that it needs to take into account where the situation I”.

David Makhura
Makhura said, for now, the provincial education department wants to concentrate on the marking of matric exams.

There is also the need to employ more healthcare workers to deal with the high number of infected people.

Officials say the budget will be adjusted to accommodate this, especially since hospital trauma units were not so busy during the festive season.

Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi said, “there is no budget that is called trauma budget. We have one for operations. If at the end we see there are saving we will readjust. Because we have to renew or extend the contract of the frontline workers, we are currently reprioritising our budget to extend”.

More than 4,000 people are in hospital – in both the private and public sector – in Gauteng.

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Source: eNCA

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David Makhura in Naledi

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