Kenya: Bid to Prevent Covid Surge As Schools Reopen

14 January 2021

The reopening of schools around the country has been a cause for concern for many parents.

Some are considering keeping back their children should there be a surge in Covid-19 cases like in some parts of the world.

Due to this, the Health ministry is studying the situation in order to prevent a surge.

Prof Omu Anzala, who is part of the Covid-19 task force and a virology and immunology professor at the University of Nairobi, said they were revising the Covid-19 model to make projections and see if there were new risks of infection.

"We are looking at the data to make new projections of how the virus is going to behave. There is no issue of a curve or flattening of it anymore, this has been overtaken by events. What we are seeing now are surges that are informed by various activities such as super spreader events," said Prof Anzala.

He explained that fluctuations in the numbers may happen as health authorities review old cases and or update their methodologies.

Infection rate down

Dr Ahmed Kalebi, the CEO of Pathologist Lancet Kenya, said the current low numbers were encouraging, but with the reopening schools, the country may see a surge in numbers.

"Whether we shall be able to keep the infection rate down (thereby mitigate or prevent a surge in new cases, hospitalisation and deaths) is the big question," he said.

"The latest figures for Sunday at 3.2 per cent positive rate and only 106 new cases, together with one death in the last two days, cap the best week of Covid-19 since May 2020 when the first wave started. Now to keep the numbers down."

Kenya has 23,000 public primary schools with more than 12 million pupils and over three million students in secondary schools.

The government shut schools in mid-March as a measure to contain the virus, which has killed nearly 1,700 people in the country.

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