The rise in cases of people collapsing and dying on the spot across the country is worrying health experts, amid fears, it could be as a result of rising cases of Covid-19 infections.
Yesterday alone, three people reportedly collapsed and died in Makueni, Nairobi and Mombasa counties.
In the first case which occurred at Kitivo village in Makueni, an elderly man died shortly after complaining of headache and breathing difficulties in what health officials said was the result of Covid-19.
Makueni Health Executive Dr. Andrew Mulwa confirmed the 65-year-old had tested positive for the virus.
Police from Sultan Hamud Police Station said they had visited the scene and “informed Public Health Personnel for the purpose of fumigation before the body was moved to the morgue”.
In the second incident reported in Nairobi, a street boy collapsed and died minutes after complaining of chest pains and breathing complications.
Members of the public scampered for safety as police and officers from public health moved in to collect the body near NCPB stores.
A street boy only identified as Hosea said the deceased had for some days complained of chest pains before he passed on.
“We are not sure the cause of death though it has been very cold and rainy in this area and we suspect this could have caused the death,” he said.
The former head of Disease Prevention and Control at the Ministry of Health Dr Willis Akhwale is now warning that cases of people dropping dead could become common once the pandemic reaches its peak between late September and August, as projected by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Akhwale warned the virus is spreading and those in denials could be shocked when it reaches its pick were “cases of people dropping dead could start to be experienced locally as it happened in Italy and China.”
The incidents of people collapsing and dying have been on the rise in the recent past, something that has continued to raise concern across the country especially bearing in mind the context of the Covid-19 situation.
In yet another incident a man who was reportedly admitted at the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) Covid-19 isolation center alongside his family, reportedly collapsed and died shortly after developing breathing difficulties.
Family members have however faulted poor response by medical officials attached to the facility saying delayed response may have caused their kin’s death.
According to the family, the deceased had an asthma attack but medics failed to respond timely. We could however not verify this claim since both Health Executive Hazel Koitaba and Chief Officer of Health Khadija Shikely failed to answer our calls or reply to our text messages.
In the last two weeks, similar cases have been reported in Mlolongo, Meru, and Dandora.
In the Dandora area, on Monday of July 20, a man reportedly collapsed and died, a few minutes after alighting from a Matatu at Dandora phase three.
He was said to have developed health complications and requested boda boda operators to rush him to hospital but they reportedly declined.
In the process, he collapsed and died on the spot. His lifeless boy was abandoned sprawling by the roadside until Tuesday, July 21.
The incident sparked fears of Covid-19 amongst residents of Wamulembe estate in Dandora Phase Three.
In an almost similar incident on Tuesday, a police officer guarding Equity Bank, Makutano branch in Meru town collapsed and died causing panic among staff and residents.
North Imenti police boss Robinson Mboloi said the officer collapsed in a washroom inside the bank.
There was panic after the County Covid-19 surveillance team who picked the body while wearing personal preventive equipment cordoned off the bank hall.
The body was picked about two hours after the officer passed on due to Covid-19 precautions.
On July 23 a man collapsed and died outside a cereals shop in Mwihoko Estate of Githurai sparking tension among residents.
Eyewitnesses said that the man struggled for a few minutes before he passed on. Police and the Ministry of Health officials in Ruiru were alerted and they picked the body and took it to the mortuary.
The officials were donning Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). However, last week in the daily Covid-19 briefings by Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said there was no cause for concern because “people have been passing away even before Covid-19”
“People have been dropping down even before Covid-19. Please Partner with us so as to allay fears and let Kenyans realize that other diseases are still around and not just Covid-19,” she said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has barred Cabinet secretaries from touring the country as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.
The travel ban, which will be in force for two weeks, “The president ordered that the trips be stopped for 14 days as part of efforts to tame the spread of the disease, which is alarming for now,” said a reliable source who requested anonymity.
Sources said the directive was informed by the fact that the ministers travel with entourages that include principal secretaries and other technical staff in the various State agencies. The tours also draw large crowds that put citizens at risk.
Covid-19 infections are on the rise with Nairobi accounting for more than half of the cases – 7,744 out of 13,353 – recorded by Monday.
The government is concerned about rising community transmission, especially in rural areas.
Some of the CSs affected by the travel ban include Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Joe Mucheru (ICT), Mutahi Kagwe (Health), Ukur Yatani (National Treasury) and Adan Mohamed (Regional Integration).
They were to visit Marsabit, Isiolo and Moyale from today to Friday, but the trip has been cancelled.
Their colleagues who were in western Kenya have also been forced to cut short their visit. These are Peter Munya (Agriculture), John Munyes (Mining), James Macharia (Transport) and Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution).
They were accompanied by Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and local governors.
The Cabinet secretaries were to be joined by Kagwe yesterday in Busia on a visit to Alupe University. They were also expected to commission the Busia-Malaba road and tour other projects before visiting Trans Nzoia County.
The pandemic has severely disrupted government operations despite efforts to regain a sense of normalcy.
It also emerged that members of the Executive have been ordered to work from home and only go to the office when it is ‘absolutely necessary’.
Another official said the Executive is focusing on a meeting called by President Kenyatta this Friday to assess counties’ preparedness and evaluate the overall national government’s response and capacity to handle the pandemic.
Following the relaxation of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the country has witnessed a surge in the number of positive cases recorded in the past two weeks.
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said on Monday that government employees were not following regulations contained in four circulars issued on March 17, March 26, April 23 and April 29 on how to avoid contracting the disease.
“It has, however, been noted with a lot of concern that public servants have not strictly complied with the guidelines and measures stipulated in the above circulars thereby exposing themselves, colleagues and their families to the risk of Covid-19 infection and fatalities,” he said.
Kinyua ordered social and physical distancing rules set at 1.5 metres to be observed in the workplaces as well as reducing the number of walk-in visitors whose details should be recorded.
Popular Kenyan actor Charles Bukeko, popularly known as Papa Shirandula is dead.
Papa Shirandula died Friday night at the Karen Hospital in Nairobi, where he was admitted after a short illness.
The news of his death has been confirmed by actress and radio host Jackie Nyaminde, alias Wilbroda
“I am at the Karen Hospital, waiting for my other colleagues in the acting industry to join us. It is unfortunate that we have lost an acting legend,” Wilbroda
Royal Media Services Head of Production, Ngige Ngugi, told Reactor Review that he had sent representatives to check on Papa Shirandula’s family.
‘I am at a funeral in Nakuru, my mother passed on. And, yes, I have heard reports that Bukeko is no more. I have tried reaching his wife, but she is not picking my calls. I have, therefore, sent representatives to Papa’s home,” said Ngige Ngugi.
The world feels wearied and yet the Covid-19 pandemic is just warming up.
Across the world, the coronavirus is flaring up. It took nearly 100 days for global Covid-19 positive cases to reach a million. The last million new cases came in the last week.
While we are done with lockdown and eager to get the economy and our lives going again, the coronavirus is yet to do its worst. The World Health Organization confirmed a record increase in global coronavirus cases rising by 230,000 in 24 hours on July 12th 2020.
In the US, Covid-19 cases have surged in the sunbelt states of Arizona, California, Texas and Florid. New hotspots have emerged in Britain, Germany and Australia. South Africa, which instituted some of the toughest lockdown measures is now among the top 10 countries, which account for about 67 per cent of Covid-19 infections globally.
Kenya’s Covid-19 cases have increased by about 206 per cent in just one month. President Uhuru Kenyatta eased lockdown measures when Covid-19 cases were on the rise and testing rates measured per million people remain very low compared to countries such as Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa.
Contact tracing and isolation are far from effective. Moreover, at about 29 per cent, recovery rates in Kenya are the lowest compared to 48 and 51 per cent in South Africa and Rwanda respectively.
The decision to ease down lockdown was not easy to make. It was always going to be fraught with peril. And President Kenyatta was very clear: The economy is reeling from lockdown and the health system is being pushed to breaking point. Kenyans are eager to get on with their lives and therein lies the peril. A rapid surge in Covid-19 infections is imminent. It is very likely that we will see new Covid-19 clusters emerge in rural Kenya as people travel from the urban epicentres, especially Nairobi and Mombasa.
Without a cure or a vaccine, containment depends on following prevention guidelines and accepting that we all must change our behaviour. Granted, it has been four months since the first case was identified in Kenya. Many people are becoming cynical and disillusioned. The exigencies of getting on with life — socialising and earning an income — seems to trump the imperative to take every measure to avoid contracting Covid-19. Young people trapped by months of lockdown have somehow developed an “I don’t care” attitude and will do anything to revel.
How fast Covid-19 infections rise depends on how we all behave. The coronavirus is transmitted from person to person, especially in crowded places. Wearing mask is about protecting others. The youth, fit and without symptoms have a duty to protect the old and those with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Lockdowns are blunt instruments, which inflict widespread economic pain. But they are effective at slowing down the spread of Covid-19.
As positive cases surge, President Kenyatta should re-introduce lockdown measures – close bars, restrict travel and longer curfew hours.
Two Malagasy lawmakers, one member of the senate and one deputy, have died after contracting coronavirus, President Andry Rajoelina is reported to have announced on Sunday.
Mr Rajoelina also said 11 other deputies and 14 senators had also tested positive for the virus, the AFP news agency reports.
The government had last week placed one of its main regions, which covers the capital, Antananarivo, back under a strict lockdown following a surge in coronavirus infections.
The lockdown was meant to slow the spread of the virus, authorities explained.
There are 4,578 confirmed cases, and 34 people have died since the virus was first detected on the island in March, according to the World Health Organization.