Burial grounds for COVID-19 victims picked as governor warns cases to peak soon

By Douglas Dindi On Wed, 15 Jul, 2020 14:41 | 2 mins read
Wycliffe Oparanya
Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya. PHOTO | KNA

Patients that will die of the coronavirus disease in Kakamega will not be send-off with fanfare or afforded the traditional rites after the county government identified two parcels of land to be used as cemeteries.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya disclosed on Wednesday that his administration had identified two parcels of land, one in the Butere/Mumias region and the other in the northern parts of the county as burial grounds for COVID-19 victims.

“We expect cases of the corona to peak somewhere in September and as a government, we must plan for the worst scenario. If it so happens like what we saw in America where hordes of people die in a day, transferring the dead to their homes might be a luxury,” Oparanya said.

He said the county was preparing for a spike in corona cases following the easement of movement restrictions in Nairobi and Mombasa counties and the partial reopening of the economy last week by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“With the traffic flows from Nairobi, which is the epicenter of the virus in the country, we expect the disease to hit the villages because of those returnees. That’s why we ask those returning from the city to quarantine themselves for at least 14 days before mingling with the village,” he urged.

Oparanya made the remarks during the swearing-in ceremony for three chief officers.

The officers that were sworn in are James Ochami who has been acting chief officer finance and economic planning, Dominic Muteshi (public service and administration, and the chief executive officer of the county public service board, Catherine Gathoni.

The county has yet to attain the minimum isolation bed capacity of 300 and has not yet been sanctioned to carry out Covid-19 testing.

In addition, the county only has six ICU beds.

The county government has set up two isolation centers at Mumias West General Hospital and Likuyani Level Four Hospitals.

Oparanya said that the county is already building an isolation ward on the top floor of the Kakamega County Teaching and Referral Hospital.

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