The plight of one family in Migori County whose 48 members have contracted Covid-19 has brought out the shocking extent to which the pandemic is ravaging communities.
Already, one family member, Moses Osoro Ogola, a former senior official in the Ministry of Devolution succumbed to the disease and is set to be buried on Wednesday, August 5 at his home in God Ngoche village in the county.
The family’s plight was laid bare by the deceased’s sibling, Nakuru lawyer Gordon Ogola, in a blood curdling narration on his social media pages.
“Good morning great friends. I want to plead with all of us to spread the gospel of the reality of this pandemic-Covid,” the former Migori County Speaker started.
“The last one or so week has been harrowing to the Ogola family and clan. In a span of seven days we have 48 infections in the family including my 80-year-old mum. She has been struggling in the ICU for the last five days,” he revealed.
“My 61-year-old brother Moses Osoro Ogola succumbed within 24 hours of admission.
Everyone who surrounded my mother including my step mum, her daughters-in-law, grandchildren, cousins and workers have all tested positive,” he added.
“As Kagwe repeatedly says; “Let’s not treat this thing normally coz it will treat us abnormally.
My worry now is: Is the whole family and village being wiped out? Put us in your prayers,” he concluded.
In an interview with People Daily on Tuesday, August 4 the lawyer narrated how the whole extended family spread across three generations, contracted the disease within one week.
His mother was the first to contract the disease which soon spread within the family.
While the old woman was battling for her life in Intensive Care Unit (ICU), his brother, Moses, was infected and died within 24 hours.
“I want the whole world to know the truth; that the pandemic is here with us and it is very dangerous,” said Ogola as he prepared to bury his brother on Wednesday.
According to the family the cortege will leave Mater Hospital, Nairobi, Wednesday morning.
The pain and anguish that the Ogola family is going through has laid bare the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping across the globe like bush fire.
“I want to plead with all of us to spread the gospel of the reality of this pandemic,” the lawyer said.
Ogola said their farm workers were not spared as they also tested positive and are all in quarantine.
He added that his biggest worry at the moment is how deep the virus has spread within families and communities in the countryside.
On Tuesday, August 4, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman described the behaviour of Kenyans disregarding the government’s containment measures as a recipe for disaster.
Speaking during the daily Covid-19 briefing Tuesday, Aman announced that the number of confirmed positive cases had risen to 23,202 after 605 people tested positive from some 4,547 samples.
Six people succumbed to the disease within the same period bringing the total fatalities to 388.
The Ogola family tragedy comes barely two weeks after the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that the surge in Covid-19 infections pointed to widespread community transmissions.
In a confidential letter to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe dated July 22 and signed by WHO representative to Kenya, Dr Rudi Eggers, the global health body warned over the rising infections and deaths from the pandemic, saying it was an indication of widespread community transmissions in several counties.
There have also been fears by medical experts that the infections, especially in the countrywide and informal settlements, could be much higher than captured by the government during its daily briefings, because many go unreported.
In the letter, WHO singled out Kenyan politicians and senior government officials for brazenly flouting health protocols.
The letter was written two days before President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted governors to discuss the counties’ preparedness to handle the pandemic.
It warned that gains made by the Kenya government in the fight against the pandemic could be eroded by the conduct of politicians and government officers flouting the regulations.
The government was also criticised over the manner in which it is enforcing the Covod-19 protocols and failure to fully protect health workers.
Eggers urged the government to strictly enforce the way masks are worn by Kenyans, claiming majority of the population was wearing it wrongly.
He also called on the government to limit the number of people traveling in public transport vehicles at any one time.
“Reinforce limitations of persons within public transport vehicles, as the close environment and the close personal space within a public service vehicle.
The regular sanitising of the interior of the vehicle as well as the provision of hand sanitisers on entering the PSV vehicle mandated by the government must be enforced,” Eggers warned.