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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,17TH APRIL,2020-The Ministry of Health has extended the confinement of individuals in five quarantine centres by another 14 days, noting some of them tested positive for the coronavirus while others breached laid down procedures.
This is in addition to the 14 more days that the Kenyans and foreigners had already stayed at the facilities.
It is the second extension, meaning the people will have to stay in the centres for more than a month.
Acting Director-General for Health, Dr Patrick Amoth, issued the directive in an April 16 communique to the heads of directorates and all quarantine sites.
Dr Amoth stated that the extension was informed by the fact that some of the people at the facilities had tested positive and that the rest were therefore being regarded as patients’ contacts. The patients were transferred to designated isolation centres.
Dr Amoth said, “It has been brought to my attention that even after the first extension of quarantine period, some of those quarantined in some facilities have tested positive for Covid-19 and have been transferred.
“To this effect means that those persons quarantined in these facilities are still regarded as contacts of positive Covid-19 patients.”
By April 17, Kenya had reported 246 cases, 11 deaths with 53 recoveries, with a large number of patients being picked from quarantine centres.
Those in quarantine are Kenyans who arrived from abroad and were slapped with 14-day mandatory isolation in selected hotels and government facilities at their own costs as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The affected centres are Kenyatta University, the Kanu and MG hostels of the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), Kenya Water Institute and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat).
“After a thorough evaluation of circumstances, it was observed that those in the five centres did not maintain optimal social distance and instead had close contact and interaction,” Dr Amoth said.
He further explained that because some of the people did not adhere to social distancing guidelines, it was difficult to determine whether it was safe to release them to the general public.
“This is, therefore, to inform you to communicate with the people in the centres that their mandatory quarantine period shall be extended by an extra period of 14 days,” he told the officials.
“They [quarantined individuals] are hereby directed to observe all the advice on social distancing and hygiene measures and to limit interactions during the period after which repeat testing shall be undertaken.”