Family cry foul after kin is buried at 3am

Monday May 18 2020
baraton burial

The body of a man who allegedly died of Covid-19 is buried in Baraton village in Trans Nzoia at 3am on May 15, 2020. PHOTO | GERALD BWISA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GERALD BWISA

A man who allegedly died of Covid-19 was hurriedly buried by health officials at 3am in Kimilili, Trans Nzoia County, on Friday.

His family, which has contested a medical report indicating that their kin died of coronavirus, is now seeking to have the body exhumed to undergo a postmortem.

15 MINUTES

Geoffrey Kibet Barasa’s body was buried in the wee hours of Friday at his homestead at Baraton in Kiminini constituency.

The exercise, which was supervised by government officials, lasted only 15 minutes.

The family, which feels it was denied the opportunity to give their relative a befitting send-off, said Barasa had just secured a driving job in Kajiado County.

The family claimed that Barasa had died after being denied dialysis services to manage his kidney condition.

“He has been sickly even before the coronavirus outbreak. He had been admitted at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Kajiado before he was referred to the Kenyatta National Hospital where he tested negative for the virus,” said Barasa’ wife Victoria Wafula.

The family said they read mischief after the hospital earmarked the deceased’s body to be buried alongside other bodies of individuals who had succumbed to the virus at the facility.

Ms Christine Barasa, the deceased sister said that they were informed that her brother had succumbed to coronavirus and the body had to be buried as soon as it arrived home.

Ms Linet Chemutai, Barasa’s mother, said her son had been complaining of abdominal pains and was later diagnosed with liver and kidney failure.

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

Trans Nzoia Health Executive Claire Namenge, told the Nation that due process was followed in burying the body.

"When we received notice from the government about person who had died of the Covid-19, we followed due process of burying him," she said.

Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Samson Ojwang said he received a phone call from his Nairobi County counterpart about the case.

"It is true that the patient died of coronavirus and this is why his body was accompanied by government officials,” said Mr Ojwang.