Not taking any chance with the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenya has delayed re-opening of schools till January 2021, local media reported on Tuesday.

The schools were originally scheduled to reopen in September.

“Due to the disturbing trend of COVID-19 cases rising steadily, education stakeholders have shelved the initial proposal to reopen schools in September,” reported a local website quoting Education Secretary, George Magoha.

“Social and physical distancing is the most important factor in the reopening of schools,” said Magoha.

The decision will also lead to the cancelation of the 2020 examination calendar, according to the report.

Kenyan authorities so far have confirmed 8,067 COVID-19 infections with 164 deaths, according to data compiled by the US-based John Hopkins University.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 537,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in Wuhan, China in December. The US, Brazil, India, and Russia are currently the worst-hit countries.

More than 11.5 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 6.28 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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