Nairobi News


South African woman in mandatory quarantine in Kenya commits suicide

A 27-year-old South African woman who had been placed on a 14-day mandatory quarantine at the Kenya Industrial Training Institute(KITI) was on Friday morning found dead in her isolation room.

The body of Ms Elizabeth Holloway, was found dangling from the rooftop of her isolation room.

Nakuru County Health Executive Dr Gichuki Kariuki confirmed the death but said he will issue a comprehensive statement on the incident.

“Yes it is true, she was found dead this morning, “he told Nairobi News.

According to health workers who had visited the facility to check on those quarantined, the woman is suspected to have committed suicide using a piece of cloth.

The health workers said they tried to access her room on Friday morning, but they realised it was locked from the inside.

A source who sought anonymity said the woman had on Thursday complained about the deplorable conditions at the facility and even wanted to be transferred to a hotel in Nakuru town.

“Yesterday, she was heard complaining about the deplorable conditions in the room. She called some officials and requested to be transferred,” said the source.

The deceased had been placed on the mandatory quarantine after sneaking from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport early this week and failing to clear with the Immigration department.

The South African national was traced by health and authorities to Namcha area in Mai Mahiu, where she was intercepted.

The woman is said to have taken her car, which was parked within the airport and driven it to Mai Mahiu where she has been working at a local firm.

The officers at first took her to Naivasha Sub-county Hospital before she was later taken to Nakuru for isolation.

The woman flew into the country on Monday after spending one week in South Africa, which is currently on a complete lockdown as it combats the spread of Covid-19.

At the college, she was quarantined together three others among them Mr Samson Rutto, a 31-year-old Eldoret based athlete, who also arrived in the country last  Sunday and was cleared at the JKIA, before he was seized by security officers while aboard an Eldoret bound Matatu, heading home.

Mr Rutto was intercepted by police at Kibunjia area along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway, on Tuesday evening and taken to the institution.

The athlete travelled to Kenya from France through India and Ethiopia, before arriving in the country on March 22.

The athlete was on Thursday joined by the South African woman.

The two were isolated in adjacent rooms at the facility. The woman had on Thursday evening been found roaming at a nearby estate looking for food.

No security officer had been deployed to guard the two at the facility.

Residents of KITI estate were on Thursday left with tongues wagging after they found the South African outside her isolation room.

A resident who found her said she appeared jovial, but could not explain why she was outside the isolation room.

“I had seen the lady when she was brought into the facility and l was shocked when l met her outside the hostels where she had been isolated. She looked unperturbed, but when l asked her why she was not at the facility she replied… natafuta chakula, lakini ninarudi huko (in fluent Kiswahili),” said John Ombati.

Mr Ombati told Nairobi News that she then fled back through the fence into the hostels.