Mother, daughter buried as gravity of third wave hits

Thursday, March 18th, 2021 00:00 |
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe. Photo/PD/Kenna Claude

 Severity of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was brought to the fore yesterday as one family in Embu County buried two of its family members who succumbed to the deadly virus within two days.

The burials took place on a day the country recorded 1,279 new cases with Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe warning Kenyans that they are largely on their own, as a majority of hospitals are stretched with admissions exceeding 100 per cent compared to January when cases at health facilities were at 30 per cent.

“The spike has not stopped there, in the same period since mid-January we have lost an additional 200 individuals to Covid 19,” the CS disclosed. 

At Kigwambiti village in Mbeere North, the stark reality of the third wave was evident as one family buried a mother and her daughter who succumbed to the disease.

It was double tragedy for the family after Dr Patricia Wawira and her mother Catherine Njuki, a former headteacher of Loreto Valley Road School in Nairobi succumbed to Covid-19 just a day apart.

Catherine fell ill on February 26 and was admitted to hospital on March 1 and discharged on March 3, only to be re-admitted a day later before losing the battle on March 12.

According to family members who did not wish to be identified, Catherine had developed breathing difficulties when she was admitted.

Her daughter Patricia fell ill on February 22 and was rushed to Nairobi Hospital’s Galleria Mall branch where she was treated and went back home.

However, on February 26, her condition got worse and she was admitted to hospital. She succumbed to the disease on March 13, a day after the death of her mother.

Catherine’s husband, Andrew Njuki, described her as a loving wife in a tribute read on his behalf by a relative.

“You left me without saying goodbye. I am sure you are with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, surrounded by angles as St Francis of Assis says.

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life. I have faith we shall unite again during the day of judgment and you will be ushered to heaven,” the eulogy.

He described his daughter as a hardworking person who loved education.

Patricia, who worked with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as the National Project Development and Policy Officer, is said to have been the first to show Covid-like symptoms.

It is suspected that she might have infected her mother and father, who is said to have recovered from the disease.

Radio journalist

The burials took place as the media fraternity continued mourning the loss of veteran radio journalist Robin Njogu, who until his death was the Royal Media Services Managing Editor for radio. Njogu had previously worked at Capital FM and Nation Media Group.

Njogu succumbed to Covid-19 on Monday evening while receiving treatment in Nairobi.

His death has left his family even more devastated as it came only two days after he lost his mother to an undisclosed illness.

President Uhuru Kenyatta described Njogu as a progressive journalist whose contribution to radio and online journalism has gone a long way in transforming the country’s media and communication sector.

“Njogu was an excellent journalist who mentored many young people in the Fourth Estate.

We will forever cherish his skills and expertise in mass media, especially in radio where he has left a huge mark of excellence,” the President said.

Residents of Muguga in Kiambu County are also mourning their Member of County Assembly (MCA) Eliud Ngugi Ngige, otherwise known as Thitia, who also succumbed to Covid-19 on Monday evening.

Kiambu Governor James Nyoro condoled with Thitia’s family when they paid their last respect to the politician.

Announcing Tithia’s death at Kenyatta University Referral Hospital on Tuesday, the governor described the MCA as hardworking among Jubilee elected MCAs.

Nyoro also announced that Tigoni Hospital has now fully reverted to a Covid-19 centre for Kiambu County.

The county already has over 1,000 beds for Covid-19 patients and ventilators to supplement oxygen have been installed.

Heavy heart

Kiambu County Speaker Stephen Ndichu said the MCA complained of fever after attending a workshop in Mombasa last week and was treated and upon returning to Nairobi, his condition deteriorated.

“It is with a heavy heart and shock that I have learned of the passing on of Thithia,” Ndichu said.

Ndichu hailed the departed MCA as an exemplary leader, who represented his people with unwavering commitment and dedication.

In Nakuru, the deputy director in charge of political affairs in Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s administration also succumbed to Covid-19 after battling the disease for more than three weeks in hospital.

Kinyanjui said Wilfred Chebochok passed away while receiving treatment in hospital.

“This is a big blow to the county executive office where he discharged his duties with diligence and commitment.

His passion for excellence and teamwork was exemplary. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family at this difficult moment,” Kinyanjui said.

Ken Malosi Manono, a close aide to Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi, also succumbed to complications from the disease.

Security was tight at Manono’s home in Viyalo village, Vihiga County, during his interment on Tuesday. Compiled by Irene Githinji, Noah Cheploen, Lumiti Dennis and Brian Malila

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