The government has extended school holidays for another one month to avert possible spread of covid 19 pandemic in the institutions of learning.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. Georg Magoha said the learners who were on the normal April vacation which was to end on the 4th of May will now extend their stay at home by one month effective of the date of opening.
“During this period there will be many interventions that will come up depending on how the government is able to control Covid 19”, he said during today’s briefing on governments preparation of coronavirus situation in the country at Afya house.
Whenever the examination is going to be administered, Prof Magoha also clarified that every Kenyan child will have been given opportunity to cover whatever time that was lost before the said examination is administered,
“At this point the government has not decided to postpone both KCPE and KCSE. Let the children enjoy their last week on holiday and then start the one month that has been added to them”, Magoha said.
The government has been working on scenarios to be rolled out to mitigate effects of Covid-19 on school calendar considering most of them are being used for quarantine.
Meanwhile , Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Ministry of Health Dr. Rashid Aman said the country has surpassed the 100 mark for recovery of patients.
“In the last 24 hours, we have discharged eight patients from our hospitals. bringing to 106 the total number of our recoveries. We have noted the number of recoveries steadily going up while fatalities have stagnated”, he said
Dr. Rashid further said that in the last one week, the number of those who have died from COVID-19 have remained at 14 and the discharged 39 persons an indication of the dedication healthcare workers.
However, the CAS also confirmed that in the last 24 hours and out of over 500 sample tested today, twelve (12) new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed bringing the total to 355
“Eight of these are from Nairobi and four from Mombasa. All the twelve are Kenyans, but three have a recent history of travel from Somali. They are aged between 14 and 60 years”, he said.
The Nairobi cases , Dr. Rashid said are spread out between Kibera (2), Karen (1), Dandora (1), Eastleigh (1), Kasarani (1), South B (1) and Umoja (1) while Mombasa’s four (4) cases were from Mvita-Kuze (1), Mishomoroni (1), Mvita-Bondeni (1) and Barsheba (1).
He acknowledged Absa Bank Kenya, PLC and Minet Kenya Insurance, who are now providing psychological support care to health care workers and those in quarantine facilities, isolation centres and their families.
“Those who may be experiencing psychological distress to reach out to them on *202*04# for counselling and support”, Dr. Rashid said.
The CAS thanked Mama Mbogas, boda boda operators, matatu operators, the youth, taxi drivers, local entrepreneurs and many others for their contribution but noted that Kenyans cannot afford to become complacent and lower their guards but be focused and maintain the course.
In the meantime, Dr. Rashid said that the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus, has today met and will be releasing guidelines for partial reopening of eateries and restaurants.
NERC however has directed that the testing of track drivers to start immediately at all border crossing points.
The County Governments will also increase training of their health care workers by utilizing the already trained personnel as trainers.
Dr. Rashid said that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the County Governments will also identify Covid 19 isolation facilities at County Level 4 to 6 Facilities.
“ I want to urge Counties to strengthen the multi sectoral structures and make use of the Key Nutrition Message launched by the government that have guidelines and give recommendations of the foods that should be consumed to remain healthy”, he said
Following the mark of the world malaria day yesterday, the CAS called upon all to protect against malaria symptoms such as fever headache joint pains and nausea which coincidentally are also symptoms for Covid 19 deaths
County health departments in Malaria transmission areas at the Coast, Lake region and the Western Rift, Dr. Rashid said need to be vigilant and closely monitor Malaria trends to ensure that there is no outbreak of Malaria which may further strain our health services.
Governor Mohammed Kuti urged the Kenya bureau of standards to enhance their capacity at County level so that manufacturing of masks and other protective equipment is not only centralized in Nairobi but also in counties to benefit young people and women groups who are manufacturing masks
On the issue of malaria and because of Stigma, the Governor further raid that pregnant mothers are fearing to go to health facilities, immunization has also gone down and thus efforts are being made to identify Covid health centres away from other normal health facilities to attend to other ailments
Dr. Kuti said that mass testing is still a bit of challenge because of the reagents which are scarce globally saying currently there are only 5000 but the government will receive 24,000 more testing kits that will see increase in the countries capability to test more people
By Wangari Ndirang