Schools in Kenya have been asked to refund fees to parents for 2020 as their reopening is delayed over COVID-19 fears, local media reported Thursday.

“Parents who had made the payments will get advance for next year when classes resume,” The Star quoted Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha as saying.

The decision, according to the report, applies to second and third term fees, as “the first term school fees were already spent”.

On Tuesday, Magoha announced the postponement of re-opening schools until January 2021, as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenyan authorities so far have confirmed 8,975 COVID-19 infections with 173 recorded deaths.

The number of coronavirus cases in Africa has exceeded 510,000 while the death toll on the continent is nearing 12,000.

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 550,400 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in Wuhan, China last December.

Nearly 12.1 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 6.42 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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