Poor learners will be given masks as schools reopen, the Health Ministry has announced.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Friday said more than 7.5 million masks are available to be distributed to deserving and needy cases as schools reopen next week on Monday.

The masks have been provided by the Chamber of Commerce.

“We have also told teachers and parents that a mask is now part of the uniform; when you are sending your child to school with the school uniform a mask is part of it, and ideally two masks will be better,” Kagwe said.

The CS has however hinted that the government will not hesitate to close down the schools again should Covid-19 cases soar.

“There are very many countries that have opened schools and at the sign of an upsurge of cases have closed them and there is nothing that we have removed from the table. This is a fluid and dynamic situation and we will be watching very carefully,” he said.

Education CS George Magoha is expected to issue more guidelines on the operation of schools ahead of the reopening.

Kagwe maintained that as the Health ministry they had issued protocols to guide the reopening to ensure teachers and students are protected from the virus.

Some of the protocols are aimed to guide on the sports activities in the schools and how to maintain social distancing amid strained resources and amenities.

“The more exposed and vulnerable groups are not actually the students given the asymptomatic nature that we have experienced within our young people, but the more exposed people are the teachers particularly those who may be having underlying issues and the elderly,” Kagwe said.

He added: “Teachers have been advised to take very serious measures not to take anything for granted. We don’t want to lose nay children and we don’t want to lose any teachers.”

The ministry has put in place measures to ensure there are officers moving around the schools and observing to make sure all is well, as well as carry out ad hoc tests in schools.

“We have proposed that in our good weather if a class is too big and we can’t be able to social distance it can be better to do it outside.”

On Friday, the CS announced that 156 more people had tested positive from a sample size of 4,317 with 11 people succumbing to the virus.

Source: The star