Twenty-five people who arrived from countries with reported COVID-19 cases and later self-quarantined in a city hotel want to be released after testing negative.
Among the 25 are three people; Ken Matampash, Neighbours Initiative Agency, a non-governmental organisation based in Kajiado, CEO, Captain Leng’ete Pertet, a local pilot and another unnamed man who flew in the same plane from Qatar on March 23.
“I have just completed my 14 days mandatory quarantine today at Mash Park Hotel on Ngong Road. I came on March 24 after a day-stay in France. I am off the hook after testing negative,” said Matampash on Monday morning.
He went on; “I do hope they will release us today on Monday to go home and have another 14 days of self-quarantine because of the intimidating cost here.”
Matampash said he and others are worried by the fact that the Ministry of Health officials are not in constant communication with them.
“We all depend on the minister’s daily briefs for all the communications. As of now, none in our group has been taken to isolation centres because they all tested negative. The cost of staying here is prohibitive,” Matampash said.
He said he boarded a Qatar Airways flight from France on March 23 and touched down in Doha before proceeding to Nairobi.
On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, at 8 am on March 24 where they were shown a room to complete some documentation.
“We were kept standing for close to 8 hours without chairs, food or water. Every one of us at the airport, including those from the government, looked exhausted and very tired. Nobody was even keeping the required social distancing,” said Matampash.
Others who talked to the Star on the telephone from the hotel, and did not wish to be named, claimed brokers from the various city hotels were at the airport waiting to take them in on arrival.
“This is big business, my friend as brokers collude with government officials to mean money from those forced into self-quarantine. There should be a government guideline on this. We never chose to be in the position of suspicion, but we are happy that our families are safe after we leave this place,” said another person from the hotel.
The hotel, a Three Star outlet in the city is charging Sh7,500 for a full board, which most of those in quarantine claimed is “fair”.
Among those quarantined at the city hotel are; one Pakistani and an American, while the rest are Kenyans.
On March 3, the government said it had observed that those within the various facilities have not maintained optimal social distance, prescribed hygiene measures and have instead had close contacts and interactions.
It said those factors facilitate transmissions and cross infection and therefore it is impossible to determine whether those who were quarantined in the facility are safe to be released into the general population.