Eswatini to Reopen All Schools Amid Virus Fears

Despite fears of the third wave of the covid-19 virus, the government of Eswatini has decided to reopen school starting next week.

Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini disclosed in a statement on Thursday that students of all grades, including preschool, will be back in classes from Sept. 8, with attendance to be on a rotational basis,

He said, “students at all levels lost valuable time since the initial closure of schools in March 2020, when the first positive case in Eswatini was reported. This will have long-lasting effects on the future of our children,”

Dlamini acknowledged that the country “has been under the tight grip of the pandemic’s third wave” since June, but said officials evaluated all health risks and took advice from experts before deciding to reopen schools.

“We have had to adapt to a new normal that has disrupted the way of living we are used to. The adverse impact on the young generation is immeasurable,” the premier said.

“It can be urged with some degree of justification that children are more at risk outside of school than when they are attending classes.”

He said the government was grateful to teachers and workers who have responded positively to calls to get vaccinated and urged the nation to continue to observe health guidelines.

According to the latest government figures, the tiny southern African country, formerly known as Swaziland, has reported 43,626 virus cases and 1,112 fatalities so far.

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