Thu, 06 Aug 2020

'Everyone looks broken' - Anger as forced coronavirus quarantine extended in Kenya

Kenya closed schools on 15 March when it had only three confirmed cases, among a raft of measures taken that month including a nighttime curfew to combat the spread of the virus.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday announced a "phased reopening" of the country, with international flights resuming on 1 August and the lifting of internal travel restrictions that had cordoned off the capital for four months. The 21:00 to 04:00 curfew will remain in place.

Surging cases

However cases are surging, with over 8 000 reported infections and 164 deaths.

"Faced with this uncertain environment, the stakeholders have resolved to reopen all basic education learning institutions in January 2021," said Magoha.

"This is based on the assumption that the infection curve will have flattened by December, 2020".

The decisions "will apply to all children," the statement said, specifying that this included schools offering international curriculum.

Initially Kenya had planned to reopen schools in September for those in their final years of primary and secondary school to allow them to take their exams, however the mounting infection rate resulted in the shelving of this plan, the statement said.

The re-opening of universities will take place on a "case-by-case" basis, and the institutions were encouraged to consider phased re-opening and continue holding virtual classes and graduation ceremonies.

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