Kenyans in Quarantine Go on Hunger Strike

  • A medical personnel holding a Covid-19 virus test kit.
    File image of a Covid-19 testing kit.
    Twitter
  • 19 individuals who are in quarantine at the Kenya Institute of Water in South C have allegedly gone on hunger strike in protest of sharing facilities, putting everyone at risk of contracting Covid-19.

    The individuals who flew in from Dubai on March, 24th were put into quarantine and forced to share rooms for 11 days until Saturday, 4th April, when they were given different rooms after three of them, tested positive for Covid-19. 

    World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that individuals in quarantine should avoid contact and sharing of common facilities to avert risks of the disease spreading amongst quarantined individuals, a recommendation that is not being implemented in the various government quarantine facilities.

    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020
    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke

    Speaking to www.kenyans.co.ke Sue Muthei one of the individuals quarantined at the facility lamented on the poor state of the facility and lack of organisation that puts them at risk.

    ''In this place, we are sharing facilities, which is not good, from the eating area to washing area and the way this disease spreads, it is easier for someone negative to contract it from someone positive.''

    Though the Health Ministry has hinted that being quarantined in government facilities will soon be free, there seems to be misinformation about the yet to be effected directive confusing individuals being quarantined.

    ''When we landed on the 24th of March, from Dubai we were advised to choose from various facilities, both private and public and further informed that in government facilities everything is taken care of but on reaching here they changed tune asking us for 30Dollars per person for the 14 days that we are supposed to be here'' she added.

    They are also not okay with how their data is being haphazardly handled from their names being mixed up to how medics are taking samples from them and without recording the correct information.

    ''One person who tested positive was given different surnames and age as opposed to the one he had recorded on the day we arrived here, his surname was swapped with another person's surname. The two of them are now being treated as positive cases.

    ''The scenario makes us wonder if there are some of us who are positive and were declared negative. We are still waiting for the second results but we want independent tests done apart from the ones done by Kemri.''

    Government spokesman although assured the individuals that their pleas will be looked into and order will be restored.

    ''First, I want to tell the individuals that each and every person takes care of their bills while in quarantine and they vary from facility to facility depending on your choice. The government is not offering quarantine services for free at the moment but soon we shall reach there,

    ''Being in quarantine is good for the individuals as it helps avert what would have been a disaster, and on issues that have been raised, the government shall verify. If true, the culprits will have to face the consequences of their actions.'' said the former Kenya Army Officer.

    Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna addresses the media at Kenyatta National Hospital on Saturday, March 14, 2020
    Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna addresses the media at Kenyatta National Hospital on Saturday, March 14, 2020
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke