Kenya: You Face Three Years in Jail If You Intentionally Expose Others to Coronavirus

You risk being sent to jail for up to three years or face a fine of Sh30,000 or both for exposing someone to an infectious disease intentionally.

The Public Health Act CAP 242-28 states that it is an offence to intentionally expose and infect another person while suffering from any infectious disease, willfully exposes himself without proper precautions against spreading the said disease in any street, public place, shop, inn or public conveyance, or enters any public conveyance without previously notifying the owner, conductor or driver thereof that he is so suffering.

"Being in charge of any person so suffering, so exposes such sufferer; or gives, lends, sells, transmits or exposes, without previous disinfection, any bedding, clothing, rags or other things which have been exposed to infection from any such disease, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding thirty thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both," the Act states.

It adds that: "A person who, while suffering from any such disease, enters any public conveyance without previously notifying the owner or driver that he is so suffering shall in addition be ordered by the court to pay such owner and driver the amount of any loss and expenses they may incur in carrying into effect the provisions of this Act with respect to disinfection of the conveyance."

The Act further states that, Provided that no proceedings under this section shall be taken against persons transmitting with proper precautions any bedding, clothing, rags or other things for the purpose of having the same disinfected."

Since the country reported its first Covid-19 case, the government has instituted strict measures, such as banning public gatherings, asking those infected to self-isolate at home or in care facilities.

The government has since announced a raft of measures to contain the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, almost turning the Central Business District (CBD) into a ghost town as many Kenyans stayed away from their offices and businesses.

On Sunday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi will be prosecuted after he completes the 14-day forced quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19.

Saburi had refused to self-quarantine on return from Germany, which is also affected, on March 7.

Kagwe issued the warning as he revealed the number of positive cases had risen to 15 on Sunday and rooted for hand-washing and social distancing to limit the spread of the coronavirus in Kenya.

The Kilifi deputy governor is among the eight new people who were confirmed by the CS to have also tested positive for Covid- 19.

Kagwe said the five Kenyans, two French nationals and a Mexican, have been isolated, with one foreigner reported to be in critical condition set to be airlifted to Nairobi for further treatment.

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