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Government starts closure of quarantine facilities

Patients have been allowed to self-isolate in their respective homes.

In Summary

• Kagwe said only those who have tested negative on two consecutive tests will be allowed to leave depending on the doctor’s discretion.

• His sentiments were echoed by the Acting Director General Public Health Dr Patrick Amoth who said facilities including Panari hotel, MTC in Karen and Lantana hotel will also be closed by end of the day.

A government isolation ward in one of the counties.
A government isolation ward in one of the counties.
Image: NDICHU WAINAINA

 The government has embarked on the closure of some quarantine facilities.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the government has resolved to no longer keep those who have tested negative of the Covid-19 virus in such facilities.

 

Kagwe during his daily status briefing at Afya House on Thursday said those who were being held in the facilities have been allowed to self-isolate in their respective homes.

 

“By the end of the day we shall have closed Trade Mark and Hill Park hotels because we no longer need to keep those who have tested negative,” he said.

Kagwe said only those who have tested negative on two consecutive tests will be allowed to leave depending on the doctor’s discretion.

“We ask Kenyans not to stigmatise those who have been allowed to join their families but rather receive them with love,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by the Acting Director General Public Health Dr Patrick Amoth who said facilities including Panari hotel, MTC in Karen and Lantana hotel will also be closed by end of the day.

“By the end of the week, we expect to have close all these facilities because we do not need to keep them open. Those who will have tested positive will be taken to isolation centres,” he said.

Amoth said all the facilities were being manned by heads of directorates in the Health Ministry who are qualified medical practitioners.

 

He said the officers are the ones who have been in charge of disseminating test results to the Ministry.

 

The government listed over 50 facilities where Kenyans could go for quarantine as the country continues to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

In the list, the government gave names of hotels, universities, resorts and lounges.

This included the location, full board rates in dollars, available rooms and the contact person(s).

Some of the places included Hill Park hotel in Upperhill. On a full board basis, the hotel was charging Sh7,000 with 44 available rooms.

Hilton Garden Inn was another facility located at the airport. Full board charges go for Sh9,000 with 100 available rooms.

Others were Safari Park, Pride Inn Hotels, Jacaranda Hotel, Trademark Hotel, Four points Sheraton, Boma Hotel.

Kenyatta University, Kenya School of Government, Crown Plaza airport, Mombasa beach hotel, LaMada hotel are also included in the list.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during a press conference at Afya house on April 9, 2020.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during a press conference at Afya house on April 9, 2020.
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

The government while announcing strict measures for quarantine said the facilities would be in a conducive environment.

The Ministry said the facilities would have a well-ventilated single room with open windows and an open door.

The ministry banned the sharing of rooms including couples during the quarantine period except for parents with children who would require guardianship.

Hotels were expected to facilitate cleaning materials (bucket and mop with bleach disinfectant 1:6 dilution).

The room occupants were to change bed linen themselves as the need arises.

“The hotel shall provide fresh linen and buckets with bleach and water and will also launder the disinfected laundry and wash accordingly,” read a notice by the Ministry.

It also stated, “The room occupants will have their meals delivered outside their doors and after meal service, the used utensils shall be deposited in bleach solution which will be provided by the hotel.

The used utensils shall be washed using bleach.

On Wednesday, Some of the individuals being held at the Pride Inn hotel threatened to sue the government over their mandatory quarantine.

Through their lawyers Mumbi Wekesa and Maranga Advocates, they claimed that the government has continued to hold them at the facility against their consent despite having completed the 14-day quarantine period.

In a demand letter to the Health Ministry, the victims said they will initiate legal proceedings.

“In light of the above, our instructions are to demand which we hereby do, for the immediate and unconditional release of our clients from the isolation facility forthwith and further to provide copies of the formal test results for Covid-19 conducted on our clients," read part of the letter.

"Should you choose to refuse to comply with our clients’requests we have firm instructions to institute legal proceedings against yourselves without any further reference to you and at your peril as to costs."

As a gesture of goodwill and to illustrate appreciation of the seriousness of this matter, the lawyers said the victims being held at the facility are willing to comply with all guidelines within the confines of the law suggested by the ministry in order to self-quarantine.


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