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Kenya hunts down quarantine fugitives filmed escaping

Kenyans filmed escaping from a coronavirus quarantine centre will be hunted down and put back in quarantine said President Uhuru Kenyatta as a warning.

The president made this announcement while also adding that those who have escaped will be found are they are not unknown as they are putting other people’s lives at risk.

The warning was issued after the video of those escaping the centre were caught and the video went viral showing several people scaling a wall to flee a quarantine centre in the capital, Nairobi.

Those in forced quarantine have been complaining about poor conditions as they say some centres are not much better that prisons with poor hygiene and complaints that social distancing is impossible because of overcrowding.

“It’s because there is no water, so people are touching the same taps when you want to wash your hands, if there is even water… it’s just a mess.” Said Racheal Gachuna, a Nairobi resident, when interviewed by BBC.

Most people in Nairobi have a fear of ending up in the centres and this has led to a general adaptation to wear masks and avoid leaving the house. It is also expensive to stay in a better quarantine area as it cost more.

Others are angered about having to pay for their confinement, which costs between 20 (£16) and $100 a night – depending on the centre.

Read also: Coronavirus: Kenya evacuates citizens at own cost

Hostels at schools and universities as well as hotels have been used to hold those put into quarantine for an initial 14-day period – though this has been extended twice at some centres.

More than 400 people are currently in quarantine. They include people who arrived in the East African country from areas affected by the virus before it closed its borders and those found to have been in contact with a coronavirus patient.

It is not clear how many individuals escaped from quarantine at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) but some reports put the number at 50.

The breakout took place on Tuesday as a meal was being served. The centre’s residents had a chance to escape when it started to rain and the guards took cover.

Read also: Coronavirus: Kenyan Governor shunned over suggestion to put Hennessy in care packages