The Ministry of Education on Friday dismissed the projection by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) of new Covid-19 infections and deaths that might affect schools.

Kemri projected that Kenya will record thousands of new cases and deaths with students back in schools.

However, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha rejected the scientific projection emphasising that all learners are safe from the virus.

“I am a top grade scientist with 43 years’ experience and the people I have trained are professors. We are at the end of the third week since the reopening of schools yet the figures yesterday represented a 2.3 per cent infection rate," the CS said.

"Do you want me to listen to your politics or look at the facts? By the grace of God, in his most infinite mercies, we have reopened schools. We have not provided social distancing to a large number of learning institutions but the learners are masked,” he added.

Kemri's experts warned that 16 new variants of the coronavirus could be silently spreading in Kenya.

The scientists said there are now 20 variants in circulation in Kenya, four having been discovered in March last year.