Better days ahead as government starts closing quarantine facilities
The government on Thursday announced that it has embarked on the closure of some quarantine facilities as it tries to manage the coronavirus pandemic, which has exacted a heavy economic and social toll, with many residents expressing uncertainty and worry over the lingering danger of infection.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on his daily briefing said the government has resolved to no longer keep those who have tested negative of the Covid-19 virus in such facilities.
The CS noted the gains Kenyans have made in adhering to the measures set by the government in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
“I want to acknowledge gains in collaborative efforts in the journey to combat covid-19. We are glad that people are incrementally noting that the disease is with us. We cannot afford to drop the ball at any time soon. We are called to move vigilantly until our curve is flattened which it has not,” he said.
The CS 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, not once but twice,” 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.
He urged Kenyans not to stigmatise those who have been allowed to join their families but rather receive them with love.
Acting Director General Public Health Dr Patrick Amoth 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.
Last month Kagwe announced that those coming into the country will undergo mandatory quarantine at their own expense.
The government drew a list of 57 establishments where they will have to pay to be quarantined as the country continues to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Among the 57 places are hotels, universities, resorts and lounges. The hotels include, Hilton Garden Inn located at the airport were one will be pay Sh9,000 for a full board, the hotel has 100 available rooms.
Others are Safari Park, Pride Inn Hotels, Jacaranda Hotel, Trademark Hotel, Four points Sheraton, Boma Hotel.
Hill Park hotel in Upperhill, the hotel charges Sh7,000, on full board basis and has 44 available rooms.
Kenyatta University, Kenya School of Government, Crown Plaza airport, Mombasa beach hotel, LaMada hotel are also included in the list.
The Ministry of Education also said it was working with county governments to identify at least 20 boarding schools in each county to be converted into makeshift hospitals for Covid-19 patients should the cases shoot up.