With official the reopening of schools pushed to January 2021, teachers have at least six months to stay at home as the government works to flatten the curve of Corona virus infections.
Staying at home is hoped to minimize Covid-19 infections among teachers, but the current spike in infections (8,250 as at July 8th) places many Kenyans, including teachers, at the risk of catching the virus.
Among teachers, there are various groups with pre-existing medical conditions and members older that 58 who are highly susceptible, making the delayed reopening strategically good for managing Covid-19.
To help manage the situation, Minet Kenya, the administrator of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) medical scheme, has been proactive by unveiling an online portal for the scheme beneficiaries to minimize contact as a way of reducing spread the Coronavirus pandemic.
The close to 300,000 members of the teachers’ medical scheme and their beneficiaries can enquire and report any cases of the Coronavirus to the insurer through a free short message code *202*07# and online portal, https://collaborationkenya.minet.com/tscresponse
“This was necessary following the government directives on dealing with the Coronavirus scourge which, among other measures, requires that the public keep personal interactions as minimal as possible,” says said Minet Kenya Chief Executive Officer Sammy Muthui.
The SMS code and online portal makes it easy and possible for all the teachers under the TSC medical scheme to report cases of Coronavirus to Minet Kenya without visiting its offices.
Minet Kenya has also set up a team of health and safety members who receive all cases and offer guidelines to teachers. The head office is still functional and available to provide updates on ambulatory, hospitals and self-quarantine support through the numbers 0800721316, 0732353535, and 0729471414. While regional officers are working from home they are available on call as well.
To reduce exposure, Minet Kenya has recommended to hospitals to consider switching from fingerprints to alternative methods of identifying patients such as access cards, optical, facial and voice recognition among other options. “We have also instructed service providers to allow teachers use one-time pin (OTP) and cards or e-card for identification in place of fingerprints,” Mr Muthui said.
Since most hospitals are not Covid-19 equipped, Minet Kenya has urged teachers under the scheme to consult with it in case they need admission as a result of Covid-19 an infection.