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Nakuru man dies by suicide while awaiting Covid-19 test result

Saturday July 25 2020
Hospital

A section of the Nakuru War Memorial Hospital as pictured on July 15, 2020. PHOTO | ERIC MATARA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ERIC MATARA

A man from Rongai Sub-county, Nakuru County, died by suicide on Saturday while awaiting the results of his Covid-19 test.

County health authorities said the man in his 50s, who worked as a driver, used a curtain to hang himself in the War Memorial Hospital isolation ward.

He was found dead by doctors doing routine checks.

SYMPTOMS

The man was admitted to the private facility last week after developing symptoms.

"The symptoms included shortness of breath, coughing and a high body temperature. He committed suicide before his results came out," Health Chief Officer Dr Samuel King'ori told the Nation in an interview.

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Dr King’ori said the man travelled from Nairobi after President Uhuru Kenyatta allowed intercounty movements in a directive on July 6.

"He joined his family in Rongai and went to the hospital after developing the symptoms. A test was conducted and he was placed in quarantine,” he said.

The test result later showed that the man had Covid-19.

The body was taken to the facility's mortuary and the burial set for Sunday, in line with rules for curbing the spread of Covid-19.

NAKURU CASES

Nakuru has recorded at least 234 cases of the coronavirus.

The incident brought to the fore the mental health issue that the pandemic has caused, although it was not clear why the man took that step.

Health authorities said they would investigate the matter.

On March 27, a  27-year-old South African woman who had been placed on the mandatory 14-day quarantine at the Kenya Industrial Training Institute (KITI) died by suicide in her room.

She had sneaked into the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after failing to obtain clearance from the immigration department.

Sources said she suffered from depression.

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