Residents oppose early opening of schools

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Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga is among hundreds of Nyeri residents opposed to early re-opening of schools in view of the increasing cases of Covid-19 disease.

             The governor is calling on the government to be extremely careful before opening education institutions saying the rate of infections may spiral out of control and overwhelm the country’s capacity to control its spread.

            Speaking last week, Kahiga said children were difficult to manage in terms of containing the virus adding that both pupils and their teachers must be tested first before schools re-open.

             He maintained that institutions of learning should remain closed for the time being instead of rushing to re-open only to regret later.

             Mutahi’s concerns appears to be in tandem with the reservations of most of the area residents who have vowed not to allow their children back to school unless the government puts in place mechanisms to ensure the children’s safety.

            A cross section of residents interviewed by the KNA said they were not ready to gamble with the lives of their children and urged the government to move with caution before opening the schools.

             “We are living in uncertain times with this coronavirus. Honestly, if adults are either finding it difficult or are out rightly ignoring protocols issued by the Ministry of Health in the fight against the spread of the pandemic, pray, how will our innocent children adhere to the guidelines,” said Mutiri Joshua, a hawker in Nyeri.

             Monica Mutheu vowed not to let her children attend school until there were guarantees that they would be safe.

             “Let them (the government) provide more classes to ensure social distancing, provide hand washing points and sanitizers in schools before telling us to release our children back to school,” said the mother of four, all of them in primary school.

             On the county’s preparedness to handle the health crisis posed by the pandemic, the governor said  350 beds in three isolation centres namely Mt Kenya hospital (40), Nyeri KMTC (180) and Mukurwe-ini level three hospital (130) had been acquired to deal with emerging cases of those who may need hospitalisation.

             He added that though Othaya level Six Hospital is not in their focus, it has a capacity of close to 100 beds if need arises for the utilisation of the facility.

            Kahiga further said that the county has 19 ventilators and six beds in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) adding that the devolved unit has also received the Sh 125 million Covid-19 boost from the national government.