South Africa reports highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases

South Africa‚Äôs COVID-19 cases rose to 131,800 after the country reported 7,210 new cases on Saturday, the highest daily surge since the disease broke out in early March.

According to the Health Department, the country recorded 73 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 2,413, the department said.

The Western Cape province remained the epicenter of the pandemic with 59,315 cases, followed by Gauteng with 34,285 and the Eastern Cape with 23,658

The Western Cape province remained the epicenter of the pandemic with 59,315 cases, followed by Gauteng with 34,285 and the Eastern Cape with 23,658.

In the latest development, the pandemic also took its toll on schools following the phased reopening of Grade 7 and Grade 12 classes on June 8.

According to the education department, 700 schools across the country had to close at some stage following infections among teachers and pupils.

More than 520 pupils and 1,169 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 since schools reopened three weeks ago, the education department said, adding that the Eastern Cape has the highest number of pupils who have contracted the virus, with 270 testing positive.

Despite growing calls for the government to cancel its school reopening program, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said her department would go ahead with the plan for phased reopening of schools.

All provinces are now finalizing management plans for the return of Grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, and 11 on July 6, the minister said.

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