About 50 people have reportedly fled a coronavirus quarantine centre in Kenya. The quarantine centre has been identified as the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC). Videos of the centres resident surfaced on social media earlier today.
In Kenya, 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.
Hostels at schools and universities as well as hotels have been used to hold those put into quarantine for an initial 14-day period.
Reacting to the video, President Uhuru Kenyatta said all those filmed escaping will be hunted down and sent back there.
Those in forced quarantine have been complaining about poor conditions. They say some centres are not much better than prisons, with poor hygiene and complaints that social distancing is impossible because of overcrowding.
Others are angered about having to pay for their confinement, which costs between $20 (£16) and $100 a night – depending on the centre. Meanwhile, some quarantine period has been extended twice at some centres.
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.
The KMTC centre has more than 200 people in quarantine. It is designated for contact tracing or after being arrested for flouting the curfew and social distancing rules.
Kenya unlike other East African countries has not gone into lockdown but has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew. It has also issued a travel ban to or from Nairobi and several other areas considered hotspots for transmission. Kenya has recorded 296 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 14 deaths.