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The other Covid-19 survivor

Wednesday May 13 2020
MEDICS

Medics in protective gear at Mbagathi Hospital. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NASIBO KABALE

Brenda Ivy Cherotich and Brian Orinda have become the faces of hope as coronavirus continues to rock Kenya and the world.

But the duo that made their first public appearance on Wednesday were the second and the third persons to beat the virus that has so far claimed more than 47,500 lives across the globe.

The first patient to recover from Covid-19 in Kenya is a woman with both Kenyan and British citizenship, only identified as Lydia.

Unlike Brenda and Brian, Lydia's recovery was not publicised by the Kenyan government.

As such, the low-key triumph over death did not receive applause from President Kenyatta, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and Kenyans at large.

But why?

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Sources told the Nation that Lydia, who has maintained a low profile since her discharge, was not cooperative since she was suspected of being infected.

She arrived in Kenya on the same plane from London as Brenda on March 5 and landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the capital Nairobi.

The woman is said to have initially tried to run from the Ministry of Health officials after she was identified as close contact of Brenda.

"She arrived in the country on the same flight from London as the first patient and gave the ministry a tough time when they called her to come for testing," said the source.

"She lied about her location and refused to answer calls."

Lydia was tracked down by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to a hotel in Nairobi and was picked up by the police.

A source who spoke to the Nation on condition of anonymity said police took her to the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Infectious Diseases Unit (IDU) where she was tested.

After confirming she was positive, health officials looked for close to 50 contacts who came to contact with her.

Lydia was released from isolation at Kenyatta National Hospital last week and since then efforts to reach her have been futile.

The Nation has tried on various occasions to reach her but calls and text messages have gone answered.

It is not clear whether Lydia travelled back to London before Kenya suspended all international flights.

Tracking coronavirus

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