COVID-19: 45 under quarantine held over bill despite testing negative

They arrived from different parts of the world between February 25 and 26 and were forced into quarantine as part of government measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Forty-five Kenyans quarantined at Co-operative University in Karen, Nairobi, have been held at the institution over accumulated bills accrued over the 14 days self-isolation period.

The 45, including eight students, whose COVID-19 results came out negative yesterday are expected to leave the institution today but were held over high accumulated bills running into thousands of shillings.

They arrived from different parts of the world between February 25 and 26 and were forced into quarantine as part of government measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

John (not his real name), who spoke to The Standard, said they have no extra money to pay the bills and are ready to pay the Sh2,000 the government had recommended to all government institutions.

Bori, a student who came in from the US, said when he landed at the airport, he was told by the government officials that he will be quarantined at a government institution of his choice at a cost of $20 (Sh2,000) per night.

“Our results have come out and all of us are negative. We are expected to leave the institution by tomorrow but we have been told that if we do not pay all our bills we will not leave or receive our results,” he said.

READ ALSO: Our hotel bill has hit Sh400,000- Family quarantined in Nairobi hotel cry

Bori said they are paying between $52 and $45 as opposed to the $20 they had been told to pay by the government while at the airport.

“Most of us are students and we have no jobs, we were caught unawares by this epidemic like everyone else and the amount they are charging us is high and exorbitant,” he said.

Jamal Ahmed who came in from Comoros Island on March 26 and placed under forced quarantine said his bill stands at Sh63,000 and he only has Sh28,000.

Ahmed said there is a family that is being asked to pay Sh160,000 and another Sh130,000 yet they have no money.

Elias Obimba who flew in from Europe said other institutions have already waived the accommodation fees and are only charging for food.

He said they are disadvantaged as they are continuously spending money that would have been put to use in case of a lockdown.

READ ALSO: Self-quarantine- Heavy price awaits travellers arriving in Kenya

However, Co-operative University denied that it had hiked charges and insisted that all the 45 were issued with rate cards and informed of the charges they were expected to pay.

University Public Relations officer James Njogu said they had communicated to each individual about the $52 rate for full board and $40 for half-day accommodation.

Mr Njogu said they were not privy to any communication asking them to charge $20.25.


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