Uhuru Hints At Gradual Reopening Of Schools, Churches Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation on Monday, June 1, 2018 during the 57th Madaraka Day celebrations [Photo/Courtesy]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has hinted that there is a plan to reopen schools and churches but with a clear protocol on minimizing the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

Speaking on Monday during the 57th Madaraka Day celebrations at State House, Nairobi, the Head of State stated that just like many parents he was concerned on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the school calendar.

The President noted that he acknowledges the anxiety among parents and children particularly for those preparing for national exams.

The Head of State also indicated that he shares a heavy heart for faithfuls across the country who can no longer congregate and worship.

Consequently, he directed the Ministry of Education to fast track and finalize the ongoing consultation with stakeholders and come up with a guideline that will help in gradual resumption of the education activities in the country.

Read: Covid-19: Uhuru Orders Treasury To Release Ksh2 Billion To Cushion Staff In Hospitality Sector

“The guideline should also include the protocols to be followed by all learning institutions in order to guarantee not only safety of children but that of parents and grandparents, ” said President Kenyatta.

At the same time, he directed the Ministry of Interior to devise guidelines and protocols to be followed by churches and worshippers to ensure the safety of congregants amid the Covid-19 infections.

In issuing the directives, the President said he was conscious of the growing number of infections in the country.

So far, the country has reported 1,962 cases and 63 deaths. 474 patients have recovered.

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President Kenyatta also directed the National Treasury to allocate Ksh2 billion to the tourism sector to cushion members of staff from the unprecedented effects of the novel Coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

The hospitality industry is one of the sectors that have been worst hit by the pandemic with hotels shutting down operations and sending employees home.

The President said the cabinet subcommittee will meet with stakeholders to develop a protocol on how the program will be implemented.

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“I have noted with concern the fact that our hospitality sector that has been greatly hit as a result of lockdowns we have many our workers seemingly being laid off as a result of there being no business in all our hospitality facilities, ” said the Head of State adding that the government is committed to “jump-start” the economy through the 8-point Ksh 53.7 billion stimulus package recently announced.

“In order to cushion this workes and to work inline with this sector my administration will focus on intervention by offering an initial Ksh2 billion from the exchequer to support hotels and related establishments.”

The President also issued an Executive order establishing a new national award and state commendation titled “Uzalendo Award” to recognise and honour Kenyans who have exhibited exemplary service, sacrifice, patriotism, and high sense of civic duty in helping steer Kenya through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health workers and journalists who have been covering Covid-19 are among Kenyans feted with the award.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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