Uncertainty lingers over reopened schools as State mulls another lockdown

The government could be forced to institute restrictions on movements again if the Covid-19 cases continue to rise. This is after the country continued to post higher Covid-19 cases even after the Ministry of Health hinted at a flattening curve and low positivity rate, which led to the relaxing of restrictions and reopening of learning institutions.

In a daily Covid-19 brief on Tuesdday evening, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr Rashid Aman said the government could revert to the restrictions after noting a surge in cases. Dr Aman said the positivity rate had risen to 5 per cent, and that only implied that remedial measures could be necessary in the near future. The positivity rate which was okayed cited by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as safer for reopening is below 4 per cent.

“We will have to take action to restrict movement or close schools if numbers will increase…We will monitor what is happening in our schools and take action based on what will be fit at that time,” said Dr. Aman.

He added, “We have reported cases of reinfection in our country…..we have instituted measures which have played a big role even as we are relaxing some measures that were put in place.”

The CAS then warned schools against using disinfection methods that are dehumanising and not approved by the authorities. This is after a video clip emerged of a man spraying school girls with what appeared to be a disinfectant while reporting in school.

He then appealed to parents and guardians to keep watch of their children and protect them from possible contraction of the disease.

“I appeal to all Kenyans to be vigilant now more than ever before so that we protect our children…Public service vehicles must not overload…If we fail to adhere to the measures we will have ourselves to blame…Teachers should ensure the agreed protocols are adhered to,” he said.

Surging cases

Kenya recorded 318 new cases yesterday, after a sample size of 2,592 was tested in the past 24 hours. The caseload now shoots to 41,937. Unfortunately, the country lost 10 patients to the disease. Nairobi still leads with the highest infections after it contributed 112 of the cases.

The others were: Uasin Gishu (30), Mombasa (29), Nakuru (25), Busia (24), Kisii (21), Kisumu (19), Kakamega (8), Murang’a (8), Kilifi (6), Laikipia (5), Kiambu (5), Embu (5), Homa Bay (4), Trans Nzoia (3), Turkana (3), Machakos (2), Isiolo (2), Kajiado (2), Nyandarua (1), Garissa (1), Tharaka Nithi (1), Vihiga (1) and Kirinyaga (1).

Meanwhile, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha urged the schools heads to identify learners with pre-existing conditions to be monitored closely due to their susceptibility to severe illness when infected with the virus. The ministry had instructed schools to partner with nearby Covid-19 treatment facilities to ensure that cases are managed urgently.

Currently, primary, secondary schools and colleges have reopened. The learners are in the stages of taking their assessment tests.

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