The High Court has ordered the government to refund money collected from people forced into Covid-19 quarantine centres a few months ago.

According to the court, the decision to force people into quarantine for violating the set regulations including being outside during curfew hours was illegal.

In May, seven petitioners moved to court arguing that the way that the government was enforcing quarantine was unlawful, inappropriately punitive, violated human rights, and created public health risks.

The petitioners wanted the court to intervene and ensure that human rights standards are respected and protected in quarantine facilities.

It is important to note that the first few months after Covid-19 was discovered in Kenya, the government outlined measures to prevent further spread of the virus including having a nationwide curfew, cessation of movement in some counties among others.

In a bid to ensure that these measures are adhered to, the government announced that those found to be contravening the set guidelines would be sent to quarantine facilities for 14 days at their own cost.

Hundreds of Kenyans were sent to quarantine facilities across the country, with the tough conditions and expenses at the facilities forcing some to escape below the end of the required 14 days.

In April, 50 people escaped from a quarantine facility at Nairobi’s Kenya Medical Training Institute.