How bodies of Kenyans who died of COVID-19 will be disposed of: Govt

By Brian Okoth On Thu, 2 Apr, 2020 16:16 | 2 mins read
The West African country has in the last two days been conducting tests but none had turned out positive. [PHOTO | FILE]
The West African country has in the last two days been conducting tests but none had turned out positive. [PHOTO | FILE]
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    The Government has announced that bodies of coronavirus victims in Kenya will be disinfected before being given to family for burial.

The Government has announced that bodies of coronavirus victims in Kenya will be disinfected before being given to family for interment, the Acting Director General of Health, Dr Patrick Amoth, said on Thursday, April 2.

Speaking at Afya House during a press conference, Dr Amoth said the first Kenyan to have died of COVID-19, Engineer Maurice Barasa Namiinda, 64, has already been disinfected, and that his family members have been asked to clear pending medical bills at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi before they are allowed to collect his remains. Namiinda died on March 26.

Dr Amoth said health officers will evaluate Engineer Namiinda’s chosen burial place in Naisambu Village in Cherangany Constituency in Trans-Nzoia County before his family is given the greenlight by the State to bury the deceased.

Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, announced during the press conference Thursday that two more people had died of COVID-19 in Kenya. The two included a patient in Mombasa and another in Nairobi.

Health Director General, Dr Patrick Amoth, said plans were underway in Mombasa to bury the COVID-19 victim, who lost his life in the wee hours of Thursday.

“The deceased in Mombasa will be buried today (Thursday, April 2), and the plans are already ongoing,” said Dr Amoth.

The Health DG said funerals are limited to a maximum of 15 family members, and that the interment should be done as quickly as possible.

Health CS Kagwe, on his part, announced that between Wednesday and Thursday, Kenya registered 29 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of active and closed cases to 110. The 29 cases were discovered from 662 samples tested.

The minister revealed that of the 29 new confirmed infections, 28 were Kenyans, whereas one was a Congolese national. Fifteen of the patients were female, whereas 14 were male.

Kagwe warned Kenyans to prepare for a ban on urban-to-rural travel should the COVID-19 numbers continue to soar.

The country — so far — has seven closed cases and 103 active cases.

The seven closed cases include: four recoveries (Brian Orinda, Brenda Cherotich, a Lydia and Kilifi DG Gideon Saburi), and three deaths (Engineer Maurice Barasa, who died on March 26, and the now two new demises reported on April 2).

CS Kagwe said the 110 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Kenya were of patients aged between 16 and 64.

Unlike Kenya, which allows families to bury COVID-19 victims, foreign countries such as Italy, Spain, China, the US, among others cremate patients, who succumbed to the highly infectious respiratory virus.

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