Scare at Kabarak University after KICD staff test Covid-19 positive
Irene Githinji and Noah Cheploen
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha yesterday said there is no cause for alarm after two Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) staff tested positive for coronavirus at Kabarak University.
Magoha said the situation is under control for the KICD staff who had arrived at the university to commence the work of reviewing Grades 7-11 books, having completed a similar process for Grade 5 about two weeks ago.
Out of the expected 200 staff, Magoha said 80 of them had arrived as at yesterday morning on the guesthouse side where the two cases were detected and all present will now be tested and quarantined for 14 days. The meeting has since been suspended.
“I want to assure the nation, I personally went there and inspected the hostels and halls, ensured that they have automatic sanitisers, many washing points because I would not have risked that at all but since it happened, the people will remain there and will be tested and will be there for another 14 days,” said Magoha, who spoke from Kenya Technical Trainers College (KTTC) in Nairobi.
Confusion rocked the university when word went round that coronavirus cases had been detected at the institution.
There was an atmosphere of fear at the institution located in the West side of Nakuru Town as the KICD staff - from various parts of the country - were trying to come to terms with the new development.
To contain the situation, Magoha said extra caution had been put in place to ensure safety of all.
Saying government cannot be shut down, Magoha said some works have been going on in the last two months but extra caution has been exercised to ensure those working are safe.
He said the process of entering raw data for all children in learning institutions took place for 70 days at Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI), KICD and Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA).
“The government cannot be shut down and in this process we have been very careful to allow the Ministry continue doing certain things we started by entering data, completely complying with regulations and I was fully in charge,” said Magoha.
During this exercise, about 100 children were engaged for about 70 days and now the Ministry has virgin data with regards to number of schools, universities, children from pre-primary 1 (PP1) to university.
From this exercise, the Ministry began vetting Grade 5 books, where about 295 people were engaged. Two weeks have passed since the work was completed.
After, KICD has continued to look at books for Grades 7-11 at Kabarak.
“There was a plan to have people there starting Saturday and were to start working today (Monday).
Where we had a problem is the guest house side where some two people tested positive and so far 80 people who have been quarantined, I have been in touch with the Ministry of Health and they will be tested and remain there for 14 days. There is absolutely no cause for alarm,” Magoha said.