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Three Covid-19 quarantine escapees arrested in Kericho and Nairobi


A section of Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) block where suspected Covid-19 patients are quarantined. Three of the 50 escapees have been arrested. [David Njaaga]

Three of the 50 people who escaped from quarantine at Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) in Nairobi have been arrested.

One of the escapees was been arrested in Cheplanget Ward in Bureti Constituency, Kericho County, while the other two were nabbed in Mararui, Nairobi.

Kericho County Police Commander Silas Gichunge said the Covid-19 suspect, Nicholas Kiplangat, was trailed by security agencies to his home in Teritabmoita Village after the daring escape from the quarantine facility earlier in the week. 

The escapee was traced to his paternal home through his mobile phone. 

"Upon the arrest this afternoon, the Covid-19 medical surveillance team from Kericho County and Kapkatet Sub County Hospital were called in. The suspect has been taken for quarantine at Kapkatet Medical Training College," said Gichunge. 

The County Police Commander said they suspect he used a Public Transport Vehicles (PSV) to travel from Nairobi to his village where he hid. They could not explain how he navigated his way out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area where movement in and out by public and private vehicles is strictly prohibited.

The other two escapees who were arrested in Nairobi are reported to have scaled a perimeter wall at the Kenya Medical Training College on Tuesday evening.

Witnesses said the victims were having dinner when it started to rain, and they noticed security officers guarding the premises taking cover.

That is when they reportedly took advantage of the situation and jumped out.

The two suspects were on Wednesday taken to the Kasarani chief’s camp and are awaiting the police to record their statements.

Officers said they would be taken back to the centres to complete the quarantine before being charged in court.

Curfew measures

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday said those who escaped from the facility would be arrested.

“You can't be a burden on law-abiding Kenyans if you were found violating curfew measures to tame Covid-19,” he said.

Reports indicate that some of those who escaped were still waiting for their Covid-19 test results after samples were taken to the lab.

Meanwhile, more than 200 people were on Monday arrested and detained by police officers in Nairobi after they broke the Public Health Act.

This took the number of people arrested so far and placed under forced quarantine at their cost to 506, said Nairobi Regional Commissioner Wilson Njega. Some of those arrested on Monday were, however, released later in the night after being granted police bonds.

More than 300 others had been rounded up at the weekend and detained before being taken to quarantine centres. They were arrested at roadblocks, clubs, homes, weddings, and other social joints.

Mr Njega said Kilimani, Kasarani, Kayole, and Buruburu had the highest number of people violating public health guidelines.

He said officers have so far arrested 1,088 people in the past week for flouting the rules. Some were taken to court and fined between Sh15,000 and Sh20,000 and told to self-isolate

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