The Ministry of Health in Kenya has warned schools against fumigating school children after a video emerged of an unidentified school spraying learners as they reported back on Monday.
In the daily briefing on Tuesday, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said the use of disinfectants on humans can have a harmful physical and psychological effect.
Schools in Kenya reopened on Monday after a six-month break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The clip that raised eyebrows showed schoolgirls in uniform being fumigated by a man who had mounted a knapsack sprayer on his back commonly used for pest and disease control. The video which went viral was received with shock and wide condemnation.
“I actually saw that clip where children were being fumigated. That is not something that the Ministry recommends. Remember we said that those things are not supposed to be applied on human beings, we stopped that,” he said.
“I know that our office has taken notice and is taking action to advise the schools that something like this is not acceptable to spray children with fumigants on their bodies, clothes and skin.” He added.
Students in Grade 4, Class 8 and Form 4 resumed classes this week after a break since March when the government shut down all learning institutions after recording the first Covid-19 case.
Dr Aman also noted that the ministry may have to consider introducing occasional student testing in order to observe how the pandemic behaves in a large population environment such as schools.
“One of the things that we have been discussing is how do we monitor the situation in schools, where we have large numbers of students, I think definitely we will require to be doing some level of testing in those populations to see whether there is transmission of asymptomatic cases,” Dr Aman said.
By Tuesday, Kenya’s coronavirus caseload had reached 41,937 with the health ministry’s announcement of 318 new cases following the testing of 2,592 samples in 24 hours. The new samples brought the cumulative tests done since March 13, when the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in the country, to 595,791.
Kenya also reported 10 more deaths, bringing total fatalities to 787 and 243 more recoveries, raising the total to 31,340.