Health minister Mutahi Kagwe said Wednesday that the ministry is yet to ascertain whether Tony Waswa, the Late brother of Bungoma Senator, Moses Wetangula, died of coronavirus on May 15.
The Health ministry boss addressed journalists at Afya House in Nairobi, where he updated Kenyans on the COVID-19 situation in the country as of Wednesday, May 20.
NTV reporter Hellen Aura asked the CS to confirm whether Waswa, who was buried at his Mukhweya Village home in Kabuchai Constituency, Bungoma County on Wednesday, May 20, succumbed to coronavirus complications.
Aura said the manner in which Waswa was buried highly indicated that he could have died of the respiratory disease. The journalist further inquired if persons who came into contact with the Late Waswa have been placed under quarantine.
A helicopter carrying Waswa’s casket touched down at his homestead at 11:05am, and healthcare workers from Bungoma County, who were dressed in protective clothing, received the coffin, fumigated it and immediately took it to the gravesite, where it was lowered. All that process lasted less than ten minutes, kicking up speculation that Waswa could have died of coronavirus.
In response to Aura’s series of questions, Kagwe said: “The standard procedure of contact tracing is that it is assumed if you have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus, or died of the disease, then it is presumed that you are a contact, and you could have been exposed to the virus.
“In terms of our containment [measures], if you have been exposed to a COVID-19 carrier, you must be tested, and you must also be quarantined. We cannot respond to that question until we have done the contact tracing [to establish whether Waswa’s contact persons were exposed to coronavirus or not], and indeed certified that what you are saying [that Tony Waswa died of coronavirus] is correct,” said CS Kagwe.
Waswa passed away last Friday, May 15 while undergoing treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi. His body had been preserved at a Nairobi funeral home.
It wasn’t immediately revealed what caused his death.
However, a Wednesday, May 20 statement by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula suggested that Waswa could have succumbed to coronavirus complications.
“Do not treat COVID-19 lightly, it is a serious disease,” said Wetangula during the funeral mass of his Late sibling.
Waswa, who died aged 47, leaves behind a wife, Tina Musili, and four children: Dustine Waswa, Rye Waswa, Pauline Waswa and Daniel Waswa.
He was the step-brother of Senator Moses Wetangula and Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi.
Until the time of his demise, Waswa worked as Tim Wanyonyi’s assistant.