Covid-19: Back to school on June 1, Chinese lab may have cure

Covid-19: Back to school on June 1, Chinese lab may have cure

It's back to school for the first batch of South African students on June 1 after the government greenlighted Angie Motshekga's plan. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has announced that students will be returning to school on June 1 for the first phase of pupils.

Briefly.co.za reports on the top updates as the nation continues to battle the coronavirus.

1. Covid-19: Motshekga announces that schools will reopen on June 1

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has addressed South Africa on the government's plan to reopen schools.

Motshekga highlighted that while navigating these 'unchartered waters', the safety of learners remains a major concern.

Staff and pupils who have pre-existing illnesses was also highlighted as a concern, with Motshekga commenting:

"We also urge parents to work closely with schools to ensure that learners with pre-existing illness are also assisted... This matter is of paramount importance and we appeal for cooperation in this regard."

Motshekga confirmed that the plan remains that schools will open on the 1st of June, with the Minister emphasising that this would include all schools.

2. Covid-19: Chinese laboratory has possible cure and it's not a vaccine

A Chinese laboratory at Peking Univesity believes it has found a drug with the power to bring Covid-19 to an end.

AFP reports that scientists at the lab are testing a drug that could not only shorten the recovery time, but also offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus.

Sunney Xie, director of the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, says testing on animals has proven effective:

“When we injected neutralising antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500. That means this potential drug has (a) therapeutic effect.” Using neutralising antibodies produced by the human immune system to prevent infections, the scientists have isolated blood from 60 recovered patients."

3. Covid-19: Northern Cape schools ready to reopen as Motshekga prepares

The Department of Education in the Northern Cape says that it is ready to start welcoming South African students back to school.

The SABC reports that 338 of the 557 schools in the region have already been disinfected in the region with the lowest number of Covid-19 cases.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is scheduled to give SA an update on the state of readiness in preparation for the re-opening of schools after numerous delays.

Commenting on the situation, the Department's Lehuma Ntuane weighed in that they are on track:

“It has been completed followed by Pixley Ka Seme. The remaining districts have smaller school number, therefore we are on track.”

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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