SCHOOLS TO GRADUALLY RE-OPEN AS FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 PRESIDENT UHURU
President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Ministry of Education to come up with guidelines that will ensure a gradual reopening of schools and other learning institutions by the start of the third term in September.
The President has also directed the education ministry to work around the clock and come up with a new school calendar by mid-august.
The ban of other social gatherings and movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area were however extended for another 30 days.
This move was arrived at after the President held a consultative meeting with the major stakeholders from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health.
IRREDUCABLE MINIMUM FOR REOPENING OF THE ECONOMY
President Uhuru said that these decisions were arrived at after considering the three irreducible minimum-thresholds given by the experts ahead of reopening the economy.
According to the experts, the economy can only be reopened if:
The country has been able to contain the rate of infections, the infections must be on a downward trend but unfortunately, this is not the case in Kenya right now.
Our health care system is fully prepared to efficiently handle cases of infections to avoid being overwhelmed. Already, two counties have reached their maximum potential. These are Busia and Siaya Counties. This is a clear indication that counties are not fully prepared to handle very high cases of the coronavirus.
Thirdly, the capacity for surveillance and contact tracing must be put in place.
Consequently, the possibility of the reopening of the economy will have to depend on various salient measures since Kenya has not met the irreducible minimum given. These salient measures include;
Reviewing the effectiveness of the coronavirus containment measures currently being enforced.
Developing time-bound protocols for the reopening of the economy.
Securing every county with at least 300 beds.
CESSATION OF MOVEMENT, CURFEW
The cessation of movement into and out of Eastleigh and Mombasa’s Old Town will end by June 7th at 4.00 a.m.
Kwale and Kilifi Counties were also opened up.
The dusk to dawn curfew on the other hand was not lifted. The President only extended curfew hours to 9.00 p.m.
This means that the curfew hours shall be between 9:00 p.m. and 4.00 a.m.
Movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area still remains restricted given that Nairobi is the epicenter of the novel coronavirus.
RE-OPENING OF THE ECONOMY; CLASH OF TWO RIGHTS
The president further described the dilemma of whether to reopen the economy or not as a clash of two rights.
Some stakeholders, the President included were of the idea that the economy is reopened. Another group of experts was however opposed to the idea of reopening the economy since it would lead to a spike of the coronavirus infections.
These different opinions birthed the idea of the irreducible minimum that the country must meet before the economy is fully reopened.