Durban – Almost 500 000 South Africans have recovered from Covid-19, translating to a recovery rate of 82%.
On Thursday, the Health Ministry announced that the country’s cumulative cases had increased by 3 880 to 599 940.
According to Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, a further 195 deaths had been reported bringing the total number of Covid-19-related deaths to 12 618.
– 26 from Eastern Cape
– 83 from Gauteng,
– 36 from KwaZulu-Natal
– 25 from Free State
– 12 from Limpopo
– 13 from Western Cape
Meanwhile, as more pupils are expected back at school next week, the World Health Organization and UNICEF have urged African governments to promote safety at schools.
According to WHO, the unprecedented and prolonged school closures were aimed at keeping pupils safe.
A WHO survey of 39 countries in sub-Saharan Africa found that schools are fully open in only six countries. They are closed in 14 countries and partially open (exam classes) in 19 others.
According to the survey, around a dozen countries are planning to resume classroom learning in September, which is the start of the academic year in some countries.
However, the impact of extended education disruption is significant. It includes among others: poor nutrition, stress, increased exposure to violence and exploitation, childhood pregnancies, and overall challenges in mental development of children due to reduced interaction related to school closures.
In Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF found that violence rates against children are up, while nutrition rates are down with more than 10 million children missing school meals.
For girls, especially those who are displaced or living in low-income households, the risks are even higher. For example, following school closures triggered by the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, pregnancy rates among teenagers in Sierra Leone doubled and many girls were unable to continue their education when schools reopened.