16TH PATIENT CONFIRMED

State puts JKIA arrivals under 14-day mandatory quarantine

Case confirmed Monday was a close contact of the eight others reported Sunday.

In Summary

• On Sunday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe directed that all passengers arriving into the country will have to be forcefully quarantined. 

• Some will now be accommodated at the Boma Inn Hotel while others will be at KMTC KNH campus, the Kenya School of Monetary Studies and the Kenya School of Government. 

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe gives an update on Covid-19 at Harambee House on March 22, 2020
ALERT: Health CS Mutahi Kagwe gives an update on Covid-19 at Harambee House on March 22, 2020
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

Passengers arriving at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from foreign countries will spend 14 days under mandatory quarantine at state-designated facilities.

The government made the announcement Monday after it reported a 16th Covid-19 patient. 

The one patient confirmed yesterday was a close contact of the eight others that had been confirmed on Sunday.

 
 

So far 646 people who had come into contact with patients have been traced.

Some 96 have been released after completing the 14-day follow up programme while 550 remain under watch.

According to the ministry, 11 are admitted at Mbagathi Hospital isolation centre awaiting results. All the patients are in stable condition.

Keval Shah was one of the passengers who arrived yesterday morning on board a KQ flight from London.

 

The flight which had 40 passengers on board and 11 crew touched down at JKIA at 9.30am.

“We were told there was a new directive that all passengers coming into the country be subjected to a 14-day mandatory quarantine. The directive had been given on Sunday evening while onboard so we thought we had some time to get in before flights were completely grounded,” Shah told the Star on the phone.

On arrival, they were directed to the Boma Inn Hotel, which he says was too expensive.

 

The rates at the hotel are Sh12,500 full board. Besides, each individual is to stay in their own room irrespective of whether you are single or you came as a couple.

“The other option was to go to a government facility located in Kabete. They said if you choose a government facility it will be free but I can’t verify if it is indeed free because that was just a verbal communication.”

An official from the Health Ministry yesterday said the passengers, some of whom arrived yesterday, have been split into various groups due to their numbers.

 

Some will now be accommodated at the Boma Hotel while others will be at KMTC KNH campus, Utalii Hotel, the Kenya School of Monetary Studies and the Kenya School of Government.

“You know we are not the ones who told them to come so they have to choose the accommodation according to affordability as they are to cater for it,” the official said.

On Sunday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said that all passengers arriving into the country will have to be forcefully quarantined.

Some were ignoring the directive by the government to self-quarantine at home, he said. 

Kagwe said that all the 15 positive cases recorded in the country are imported. 

Yesterday, Kagwe asked hotels that were offering quarantine services to consider charging lower rates.  

"Business has been brought to you but these people came into the country without a plan to spend money so charging them the normal rates is immoral and inconsiderate," Kagwe said.

He added, “We will be expanding these quarantine facilities as more need arises. There will be ministry officials and security personnel at these facilities to help and provide security as these are not prisoners." 

Kagwe called on Christians to continue supporting the work of God through M-Pesa.

He urged matatu operators to stop overcharging passengers.

"With the COVID-19 pandemic every sector will have to take an economic effect. Before you overcharge remember some of these people do not have any money," he said. 

(edited by o. owino)