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Migori Covid-19 centres on the spot as 12 flee from isolation

Monday May 25 2020
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A woman in quarantine. The state of quarantine facilities in Migori County has come under sharp criticism as another group of 12 people escaped from one of the isolation centres over the weekend. PHOTO | FILE | AFP

By IAN BYRON

The state of quarantine facilities in Migori County has come under sharp criticism as another group of 12 people escaped from one of the isolation centres over the weekend.

This came barely a fortnight after eight other people sneaked out of one of the facilities in Kuria West Sub-County.

According to police reports seen by the Nation, the 12 sneaked out of St Mary’s Mabera Secondary School isolation centre after complaining of poor sanitisation and overcrowding.

The 12 escapees, according to a police record under OB Number 30/22/5/2020, had raised complaints about the pathetic state of the centre, but their pleas had been disregarded.

NO RECORDS

Mr David Marwa, a clinician who made the reports to police, said only two of the escapees left their records at the facility, making it difficult to trace the others.

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“Twelve of them whose identities are unknown escaped to unknown destinations. Scene visited by police and search is underway,” the report stated.

The escape came even as the county’s rapid response team continued searching for seven others who escaped last week.

Confirming the incident, County Health Executive Isca Oluoch told the Nation that none of the escapees is yet to be traced although security officers at Mabera Police Post are following all possible leads to make arrests.

“So far nobody has been traced although we have launched investigations into any possible leads,” said Dr Oluoch who declined to comment on the other seven who had escaped on May 13.

ARRESTED IN BAR

The 12 were part of 20 people who were arrested at a bar in Migori town while drinking during curfew hours last week.

A senior doctor at the quarantine facility claimed that police officers in Migori town deliberately declined to provide their details despite having clear records.

“We suspect this was a plot to aid in the escape because we have reached the officers for details in vain,” said the doctor who sought anonymity.

He claimed that security officers at the quarantine unit did not raise the alarm even after being notified that the 22 were staging an escape.

Mr Benson Mule, one of those quarantined, said they had been subjected to extreme living conditions without proper protection despite three cases testing positive at the centre.

FOOD

Another patient claimed that despite the government issuing a directive to have them provided with food, that has not been effected at the facility.

Meanwhile, the government has reinforced security along the porous Kenya-Tanzania border.

A contingent of police officers has been deployed to Ntimaru, Kogaja, Guitembe and Kopanga borders. At the same time, the border patrol unit is conducting maritime surveillance in Muhuru Bay, Migingo Island and other beaches bordering Tanzania.

Migori County Commissioner Joseph Rotich maintained that cross-border movement had been stopped following the presidential directive.

He said that the officers manning the border have been supplied with enough utility vehicles and protective gear to enable them do their work effectively.

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