Reality hits home as more patients die of coronavirus

Monday, July 20th, 2020 00:00 |
Papa Shirandula.

After months of doubts and open denial by Kenyans about the existence of Covid-19, reality has started hitting home as more Kenyans succumb to the virus.

And now experts warn the country could experience the true wrath of the virus when the infections get to its peak in September as per the government’s modeling.

The warning by the experts came on the day the government reported nine persons had succumbed to the virus in the later 24 hours.

Celebrated TV actor and comedian Charles Bukeko, popularly known by his stage name as Papa Shirandula, is the latest household name to have died from the virus after his family linked his death to Covid-19.

Papa Shirandula who will be buried today reportedly tested positive for the virus last Monday and went into isolation.

His condition worsened on Saturday when he started having breathing difficulties. He was rushed to Karen hospital in Nairobi where he was declared dead on arrival.

He died on the day Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that the country’s death toll from the virus had risen to 225.

Papa Shirandula’s death struck even as the country was still coming to terms with the demise of Dr Doreen Lugaliki, a consultant obstetrician who became Kenya’s first doctor to succumb to the virus.

Last week on Tuesday, Covid-19 claimed the life of renowned academician Maurice Wamang’oli, who before his death, was a senior lecturer at the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Nairobi.

The academic giant died at The Nairobi Hospital. As of Wednesday last week, Covid-19 had killed four Kenyan health workers and infected 450 others according to the ministry of Health.

On Saturday of July 4, Baringo Woman Rep Gladwell Tungo’s husband, Isaac Cherogony, also succumbed to the virus.

The family confirmed that Cherongony suddenly developed breathing problems at home and was rushed to a hospital in Eldoret. Efforts by doctors to resuscitate him proved futile.

The first-term legislator confirmed that her husband succumbed to the respiratory illness at a hospital in Eldoret. Similarly, Kiambu Town MP Jude Njomo’s mother Margaret Wambui, 86, was reportedly diagnosed with the virus four days after her death and the family was forced to bury her at night in a hurried ceremony.

The family has, however, raised queries over the diagnosis by officials from the Ministry of Health.

 Unlucky person

The security personnel have not been spared either after a Kenya Defence Forces KDF) died of Covid-19 last month.

The deceased, David Bartonjo, who died in Nairobi where he worked, was buried at his Olenguruone home in Nakuru County under the watchful eyes of the police and public health officers.

Last week on Monday, Kenya recorded its highest number of deaths from Covid-19 within a 24-hour period after 12 people succumbed to the virus.

And on Wednesday, the Health ministry sounded the alarm about the worrying number of deaths among patients with no history of co-morbidities.

Two out of the seven deaths reported on Wednesday had no history of preexisting medical conditions, according to Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Rashid Aman.

In the initial phase of the pandemic, MOH data has indicated that most of the Covid-19 related fatalities were linked to patients with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.

With the two deaths, the ministry issued a warning to the youthful population to take precautionary measures seriously.

“That is usually cause for worry because it means either they are getting a more serious form of infection, which therefore, means we need to warn the young people that not everybody who gets Covid-19 survives.

You could be that unlucky person who gets a more serious form and succumbs,” Acting Health Director General Dr Patrick Amoth warned.

Despite surging infections, a majority of Kenyans in parts of the country have continued to live in denial of existence of the virus with some even dismissing the pandemic as mere “mythical.”

As a result some have continued to openly flaunt the health measures, a tendency the Ministry of Health says is responsible for surging infections.

  Former head of Disease Prevention and Control at the ministry of Health Dr Willis Akhwale, warns that the infection is spreading and those in denial could be shocked when it reaches its pick where “cases of people dropping dead could start to be experienced locally.”

More on News