Nyahururu’s two runners now quarantined in Nairobi

Friday, April 24th, 2020 00:00 |
Patrick Muriuki when he won the Muester Marathon in Germany in 2010. RIGHT: Muriuki (left) and James Karuri jog in between the KMTC hostels where they are currently quarantined. Photo/PD/FILE

David Macharia

A Nyahururu-based international athlete who is quarantined at Kenyatta National Hospital’s Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) in Nairobi believes that his continued stay at the facility may make his form dip.

Patrick Muriuki told People Sport that he had spent about one month collectively in quarantine in both Korea and Kenya and now fears his top form could plummet to zero.

Muriuki and his colleague, James Karuri are spending their 30th day under quarantine in Kenya since they were put at the mandatory 14 days observation on March 25 when they arrived from Korea, just days before the government banned international flight.

The stay at the KMTC was extended by another 14 days after some of the people there tested positive for Covid-19 at the end of the first two weeks.

He and Karuri tried to do some training at the facility but found the space there too small for the exercise, thus putting them at high risk of contract coronavirus.

“The risk of contracting Coronavirus is high here since over 100 people are quarantined here and are sharing toilets and bathrooms,” Muriuki, the bronze medallist at the 2013 championships in Guangzhou, China said on phone. 

He also finished third at the 2011 Mumbai marathon in India behind Ethiopians. His best marathon performance was in the 2010 Muester marathon, Germany which he won. 

After that he suffered injuries that saw him remain without competing until this year when he hoped to make a comeback.

He had travelled to Korea to take part in the Seoul Marathon which was set for March 22 but was cancelled because of  Coronavirus outbreak.

“Our host just bought us air ticket to come back home but prior to taking a flight home, we were kept in a situation that resembled quarantine. We did not earn any money there since we did not run,” he said in reference to the escalating charges they are expected to pay for stay at the KMTC.

Muriuki who was with another athlete, James Karuri said their movement in Seoul after the race was cancelled was restricted because at that time Korea was second in number of Covid-19 cases after China.

Cancellation of the marathon was a rude welcome to 25 year old Karuri who was to use the race to make his international debut.

Karuri is worried that the bill at the quarantine centre will be too much for him considering that he is not a big time athlete yet. The bill is Sh2,000 per day each person spends in the facility.

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