Coronavirus infections hit four in Kenya as KNEC cancels exams over virus fears

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Medics in protection gear. WTO has been criticized for having their priorities wrong during this COVID-19 pandemic./COURTESY

The Kenya National Examinations Council, KNEC, on Tuesday issued a circular suspending all national technical and teachers’ examinations in ongoing efforts to mitigate spread of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, the same day the health ministry issued a statement putting the new infection figure at four.

The latest infection was confirmed from a patient who Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said had traveled to the country from London on May 8th.

The KNEC circular, addressed all County Education Directors and heads of teacher training and technical institutions countrywide, allowed only teacher education examinations that were already ongoing to continue until this Friday, but directed that they be postponed thereafter until further notice.

“Business and technical theory examinations scheduled to start on Monday 23rd March 2020, have been postponed until further notice,” the circular read in part.

“The council shall review the directive from time to time and communicate when the postponed examinations will resume.”

On Tuesday students from most boarding schools across the country were released to go home following a presidential directive last Sunday, that all schools be closed to mitigate spread of the virus.

Those in day schools did not report from Monday.

A spot check by Baraka FM at various places around Mombasa revealed efforts by many individuals and business owners to adhere to recommended safety standards proposed to curb the virus spread.

Supermarkets and banks had hand sanitisers at their entrances and every customer was required to clean their hands as they entered.

Staff in most premises Baraka FM toured were wearing face masks, an indication warning over the virus had been taken seriously.

Neighbouring Tanzania and Somalia became the latest regional countries to confirm their first cases on Monday, saying the patients had arrived in the countries from Belgium and Iran respectively.

So far over 180,000 infections have been reported worldwide with over 7,000 deaths and 80,000 recoveries according to the World Health Organisation, WHO.

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