Gov’t dispatches Covid-19 response team to Siaya on ‘urgent mission’

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Wednesday revealed that a high-level team from his ministry had been dispatched to Siaya County on what he termed an urgent mission.

This comes after Siaya was listed among 21 counties in Kenya where the novel coronavirus has since spread to having recorded one case.

CS Kagwe, speaking during a press conference at Afya House, said the team will be examining the state of quarantine centers in the county.

He added that the team, under the leadership of Dr. Patrick Amoth, will also deliver Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to medical staff.

“Early today, I dispatched a high-level team from the Ministry of Health to Siaya County on an urgent mission. The team, which is led by Acting Director General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth, is currently examining the status of the quarantine and isolation facilities in Siaya County,” he said.

“They’re also engaging with the county leadership and local residents to ensure that we’re moving in one accord against this virus. In addition, the team is also delivering supplies for personal protection for the medical staff and healthcare workers in the region.”

James Oyugi, a Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) employee died on April 10, 2020 in Siaya after contracting Covid-19.

According to a police report, the 59-year-old man had travelled from Mombasa on April 5 to Ukwala in Siaya, spending two nights in between at Nairobi and Kisumu.

He arrived in Ukwala on April 7 and developed a cough three days later after which he was rushed to the Matibabu Foundation Private Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

It is however the inhumane disposal of Mr. Oyugi’s body following his death that elicited the ire of Kenyans online.

A video shared on social media showed officers in protective gear carrying the body in a bag out of a pick-up car at around 2am on April 11 before placing it in a grave and then leaving.

Distraught family members were also heard wailing in the background unable to hide their grief having not been allowed to mourn him the traditional way.

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga has also since appointed a 3-member team led by County Police Commander Francis Kooli to investigate what led to the hasty inhumane burial.

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