Kenyan authorities are “potentially facilitating“ a rise in coronavirus infections by forcefully quarantining tens of thousands of persons in facilities with undesirable conditions, right groups said on Thursday.
The quarantine facilities in Kenya “lack proper sanitation, protective equipment and food,” Human Rights Watch (HRW), Kenya Human Rights Commission, and Journalists for Justice said in a joint statement.
“Kenyan authorities are exposing people to a risk of infection in poorly managed and ill-equipped quarantine facilities,” Osieno Namwaya, senior researcher at HRW was quoted as saying.
The authorities have also been accused of forcing people into quarantine “for violating curfew or for not following orders to wear face masks.”
People interviewed by the NGOs described poor conditions of the quarantine facilities, including lack of bedding, water, food, and cleaning supplies, including soaps and detergents.
They said they weren’t told of test results and that staff did not adhere to the government’s own protocols, such as wearing face masks or other protective equipment, to ensure that those quarantined do not become exposed to the virus.
The East African country has thus far registered 1,471 positive cases along with 55 deaths, according to figures compiled by US-based John Hopkins University. It is still maintaining its lockdown, which is in place since the start of April.
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