SA closes public schools as coronavirus cases rise
Schools have been reporting coronavirus cases among learners

State schools in South Africa will close for four weeks from Monday as part of measures to combat a surge in the number of coronavirus cases.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was important to ensure that schools did not become sites of transmission at a time when coronavirus cases in South Africa are rising at one of the fastest rates in the world.

Older students in primary and secondary schools returned to schools on 6 July.

“Taking into account the views of the various stakeholders and expert bodies, cabinet has decided that all public schools should take a break for the next four weeks,” President Ramaphosa said.

He said the current academic year will be extended beyond the end of 2020 as a result of the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

“We have taken a deliberately cautious approach to keep schools closed during a period when the country is expected to experience its greatest increase in infections,” he said.

The president also announced a $30bn (£24bn) package to fund health services and help those in greatest need.

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