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Magoha stops schools reopening as Covid-19 burden grows

The rest of the classes were to resume today, but Covid-19 burden is rising

In Summary

• The 931 positive tests reported yesterday came from a sample size of 6,691 tested in the last 24 hours.

• Currently, there are 18 patients in the Intensive Care Unit, 49 on supplementary oxygen, while 16 are in High Dependency Unit.

Education CS George Magoha addresses the media during the official hand over of the final report of the Covid-19 National Eduation Response Committee at KICD. June 5, 2020.
Education CS George Magoha addresses the media during the official hand over of the final report of the Covid-19 National Eduation Response Committee at KICD. June 5, 2020.
Image: FILE

Education CS George Magoha has warned schools against further reopening, as 931 more people tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday.

Speaking in Nairobi, Magoha said the Cabinet is yet to approve the decision to reopen for other grades.

“The government has not authorised the further reopening of other schools in public, private or international schools… that decision is yet to be considered by the Cabinet and when we get to it, the nation shall be told,” Magoha said.

 

The 931 positive tests reported yesterday came from a sample size of 6,691 tested in the last 24 hours.

This brings to 49,721 the number of confirmed positive cases in the country, from cumulative 659,920 tests.

From yesterday's cases, 896 are Kenyans and 35 are foreigners and 615 are males and 316 females. The youngest is a five-month old infant while the oldest is 90.

"Sadly, six patients have succumbed to the disease bringing the fatality to 902. Our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their loved ones," said Health CS Mutahi Kagwe in a statement.

He said 333 people recovered from the disease, 256 of them from the home-based care, while 77 were discharged from various hospitals. Total recoveries now stand at 34,209.

"Currently, there are 18 patients in the Intensive Care Unit, 49 on supplementary oxygen, while 16 are in High Dependency Unit," Kagwe said.

"A total of 1,198 are admitted in various health facilities while 3,437 are on home based isolation and care," he said.

Schools in Kenya began to reopen for in-person teaching on October 12 with KCPE, KCSE candidates, and Grade 4 learners reporting back first.

The candidates’ return was to give ample time for preparation of the national exams that are set to be conducted between April and June of 2021.

Teachers were directed to report back to school earlier to prepare for the safe return of students in the examination classes.

The three classes account for about 2.8 million learners. The rest of the classes were scheduled to resume today.

This includes those in pre-primary one and two, Grades one to three, Classes five to seven, and those in form 1, 2, and 3.

“For now we are not in a hurry (to reopen) as you can see the COVID rates are spiking… Those classes that were not opened before must remain close. If you do not abide then there shall be consequences,” Magoha said.

During the first phase of reopening, Education CS George Magoha termed the first 14 days vital in assessing how the institutions would cope with the Covid-19 crisis.

 

Headteachers were instructed to find gaps in hampering learning and ways of solving them. They were also required to conduct a learners' needs assessment before embarking on regular teaching.

On Wednesday, Star of the Sea Secondary School and Tononoka High School in Mombasa were closed following 15 coronavirus cases.