Kisumu tightens Covid rules, orders disposal of unclaimed bodies

Kisumu residents will have to endure stiffer measures announced by the county government as Covid-19 rapidly spreads.

Grieving families have been given a 48-hour notice to bury their loved ones.

“We have established that the prolonged stay of bodies in the mortuaries leads to abuse of burial Protocols, eventually making it difficult to control the number of mourners attending such ceremonies,” announced the county government in a statement.

Kisumu Central remains the biggest epicentre of the disease followed by Kisumu East and Kisumu West sub-counties.

Health CEC Boaz Otieno Nyunya Friday presented a glum outlook with the Covid-19 average weekly positivity rate soaring to 28.4pc.

The lakeside city has been recording a steady rise in Covid 19 infections and deaths in the past few weeks following the confirmation of the highly double mutant India Covid strain from eight travellers of Indian origin who had arrived in the county.

The County has cumulatively reported 139 deaths since the invasion of the virus in March last year, reflecting a case fatality rate of 2.4pc. Both private and public hospitals have overstretched their capacities as cases of the deadly Indian variant surge.

“Kisumu has so far registered 5,994 accumulative Covid-19 cases, From 43,000 tests.  We have a weekly positivity rate of 28.4 Per cent.  The County has cumulatively reported 139 deaths since the invasion of the virus in March last year, reflecting a case fatality rate of 2.4%. We have 687 Active cases. Out of this, 112 are in hospitals”.

Burial ceremonies

Mortuaries have been given a 48-hour notice to dispose of all the bodies in their custody or risk having their licences cancelled.

The county has also threatened to move to court to have unclaimed bodies buried in mass graves.

“We have established that there are 212 bodies still being kept at various private and public morgues across the county. All these will be declared as unclaimed if not released to relatives within the stipulated time”, he warned.

To ensure compliance with burial protocols that have been disregarded, bodies must be released from the mortuaries by 10 am, within 48 hours of the death and must be buried the same day.

The morgues have been instructed to file daily reports on the new bodies and related details.

The Multi-Agency teams backed by police officers, chiefs, sub-county administrators and enforcement officers will carry out fresh crackdowns to ensure burial ceremonies are conducted according to the Covid-19 Protocols.

Police have also stepped up enforcement of the protocols targeting residents, markets, entertainment joints and public service vehicles.

Two county courts will be revived and gazetted in the next few days to handle members of the public found flouting the Covid-19 protocols.

Some 110 people have been arrested and arraigned in court for failing to wear their face masks.

Crackdown on PSVs flouting the containment measures has been intensified and 19 vehicles impounded. Matatu saccos flouting the rules will be deregistered while defiant passengers will not be spared.

The law enforcers raided several Bars in Kisumu town and arrested 16 people.

Markets that do not provide sanitary services have been put on notice after Bar Korwa open-air market in Seme sub-county was shut.

Places of worship will also be closely monitored to ensure they adhere to the Protocols, failure to which they will be ordered to suspend their services.

”These worship places must only admit a third of their normal capacity” the CEC warned.

Testing has been scaled up after the county received 6,000 Rapid testing kits from the Ministry of Health.


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