The South Africa government has ordered the shut down of public schools due to the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.
The government had reopened many schools in the country to allow students in their final years at primary and secondary school to return to learning.
However, while addressing the nation on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the “cabinet has decided that all public schools should take a break for the next four weeks”.
He said schools will be closed from July 27 and are scheduled to reopen on August 24, adding that the academic session which is scheduled to end in December will be extended.
“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,” the president said.
President Ramaphosa also announced a 500 billion rand ($30bn) social relief and economic support package to help fund the health response and assist “those in greatest need”.
South Africa has recorded 408,052 coronavirus cases, with over 6,000 deaths making it the fifth-highest in the world.
As of July 15, A total of 7,021 South African police officers had tested positive for COVID-19.
Over 5,000 health workers have also been infected with the virus.
In Nigeria, the government had reversed its decision to reopen schools, citing safety purposes.
At least 55 students and staff of a Ghanaian high school contracted COVID-19 after schools were reopened in the country.