Government has issued a fresh directive geared towards protecting its aged workers from contracting the novel coronavirus. The directive which will affect all government employees aged 58 years and above and those with underlying conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and HIV starts immediately. However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
This decision will affect teachers who are part of September reopening programme.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read a circular by the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua.
Universities,TVET’s, TTC’s and other colleges are expected to reopen in September if they put proper facilities and containment measures to curb the deadly virus. The institutions will also be required to get clearance before they can be allowed to reopen.
Yesterday various teams visited different universities to inspect on the level of preparedness before getting cleared for reopening. The team visited Bomet universitiy college, Kisii university and Rongo univerity.
“Earlier the PS visited Kisii university to assess the institutions preparedness to reopen. With him was the VC Prof. John Atama and other Senior academic staff” said the Ministry education yesterday through its social media handle when they visited Kisii university.
Other measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
Last week TSC released guidelines for teachers and its secretariat staff when visiting TSC offices at county or headquarter which are aimed to help slow the covid-19. Schools were closed and reopening pushed to January 2021. However TSC has assured teachers they will continue to earn their salaries for the next six monthes.