What you need to know:
- Dozens of schools have suspended learning, creating anxiety countrywide.
- More than 20 students and teachers have tested positive for Covid-19 in Mombasa since the reopening of schools.
The rising numbers of Covid-19 infections and deaths have triggered a silent shutdown of public offices, schools and private companies as the country battles what appears to be a more vicious wave of the pandemic.
At 964 deaths, the number of coronavirus-related fatalities is now just 36 shy of the 1,000 mark, while the official cumulative tally of infections hit 52,612 yesterday.
Key services are grinding to a halt at governments offices, schools, prisons and even State corporations, as workers are quietly being sent home.
By last evening, more than eight counties had shut operations, with dozens of schools and more than 70 learners, techers and support staff taken to isolation.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, however, remains adamant that schools will will not close.
“The infections are rising in Kenya and other countries. Our dilemma is whether to allow other children in school or not. That decision has not been formally made,” he said in Nairobi yesterday.
Only Four Four, Standard Eight and Grade Four learners were recalled when schools reopened on October 12.
Dozens of schools have suspended learning, creating anxiety countrywide.
A high school teacher in Mogotio, Baringo County, succumbed to coronavirus-related complications, according to area Teachers Service Commission (TSC) director James Nyakweba.
It becomes the third known Covid-19 death in the teaching fraternity after Tononoka Secondary School principal Khamis Mohammed also died of the virus earlier in the week.
Earlier, a teacher in Kinoo, Kiambu County, had also died of complications related to the virus.
More than 20 students and teachers have tested positive for Covid-19 in Mombasa since the reopening of schools.
The county government tested students and teachers last week following reports of infections.
At Tononoka Secondary, some 16 members of the school community have been confirmed to have the virus.
Four people from a sample of 120 tested positive for the virus at Star of the Sea High School.
Infections are also rising in Nyanza schools. A learning institution in Kisii was temporarily shut when a teacher and a secretary tested positive for Covid-19.
Kisii County Education Director Pius Ngoma yesterday said Kegochi High School in Nyamache sub-county closed when the cases were confirmed.
Four teachers and a student in Kisumu County are in isolation after contracting the virus.
The teachers are drawn from schools in Nyakach, Seme, Muhoroni and Nyando sub-counties.
“There are Covid-19 cases in government offices and schools. These are people are living in the community. They may have contracted the virus through local transmissions,” Kisumu County Public Health Director Fredrick Oluoch said yesterday.
Kakamega, Vihiga, Mandera, Kilifi, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia have had their devolved governments or assemblies shut after a rise in infections amongst their employees.
Kakamega county chief of staff Robert Sumbi succumbed to the virus yesterday, barely hours after Governor Wycliff Oparanya announced a seven-day shutdown of operations at the devolved government headquarters.
The Vihiga county government has extended a temporary closure of the health department offices from 10 to 14 days.
County Secretary Ezekiel Ayiego said the offices would remain out of bounds to enable fumigation as the region’s caseload stood at 63, among them 13 health care workers.
Kilifi and Mombasa devolved units have suspended operations after ward representatives and county officials contracted Covid-19.
Proceedings at the Mombasa County assembly have been suspended for two weeks after seven representatives and a worker got infected with the virus.
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has given county employees a two-week leave after six and 24 health workers tested positive for Covid-19.
The governor said the shutdown is intended to curb the pandemic.
“The trend of the infections is worrying and we must do everything to stop it,” Mr Kingi said.
Mandera county treasury offices have been closed after an employee was confirmed to have coronavirus.
In a memo to staff, Finance chief officer Alinoor Mohamed Ali said the offices would remain closed for 14 days.
Most county governments and assemblies in the North Rift have shut down. Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Bungoma have closed their offices and assemblies following cases of coronavirus.
Nandi county secretary and head of public service Francis Sang said the offices will remain shut for 14 days.
Dr Sang said the offices of the governor, deputy governor, administration, public service, e-Government, health, finance and economic planning will be closed.
“Staff shall work from home,” Dr Sang said, adding that county employees will be tested from time to time.
The Bungoma, County Assembly will remain closed for weeks and testing conducted on ward representatives and workers.
Six representative and seven staff have the virus, according to speaker Emmanuel Situma.
In Trans Nzoia, the County Assembly has been closed temporarily following confirmation of two Covid-19 cases. County Assembly Clerk Ainea Indakwa directed staff to stay away for two weeks.
By Tom Matoke, Barnabas Bii, Onyango K’Onyango , Brian, Flora Koech Gerald Bwisa, Siago Cece, Charles Lwanga, Winnie Atieno, Stephen Oduor, Benson Amadala, George Odiwuor, Derick Luvega, Benson Ayienda, Elizabeth Ojina and Dickens Wasonga