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Covid-19: Kenyans in South Africa speak

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South African police officers at a road block near Cape Town on March 31, 2020 enforcing the ongoing lockdown. Kenyans in South Africa are struggle to adjust brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. PHOTO | RODGER BOSCH | AFP

South Africa started its 21-day national lockdown on Friday as the government stepped up its efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Besides South Africans, the clampdown has also affected foreigners who arrived in the country to seek a better life.

As the lockdown kicked off on Friday, the health department announced the first coronavirus death and that confirmed cases had tipped over the 1,000 mark.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the country now had 1,170 confirmed cases of Covid-19 — an increase of 243 new cases from an announcement made on Thursday. At the time, 28,537 tests had been done.

Of these cases, 55 patients were in hospital, four of whom are in ICU and on ventilation.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the unprecedented crisis demanded that the lockdown be imposed.

The ordinary South African has now to get used to “a new normal” – being confined at home for the next three weeks.

But for some, especially foreigners, this reality has far-reaching implications.

Thomas Maina arrived in South Africa three years ago to try and eke out a living and support his family back in Nyeri, Kenya.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans among victims of S.Africa attacks

Maina sells artefacts at the Johannesburg Mall, not too far from his apartment.

Not sure of exactly how he will cope during this lockdown, Mr Maina now wishes he is with his family in the central highlands of Kenya.

The 43-year-old trader is only one of the countless venders and entrepreneurs facing crippling uncertainty during the lockdown.

“It’s been a bit of a difficult period since the coronavirus cases were confirmed in South Africa. I work from the Johannesburg Mall and people stopped visiting malls, which meant business was affected,” he said.

With just a few days before the month ends, Maina knows his landlord will be expecting his rent and his children back in Kenya will be expecting money. But he says he has not been able to make enough money this month.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen because there has not been any business this month. I really want to know if I’ll have to pay my rent this month,” Mr Maina says.

He is aware of the move Italy took to soften the economic impact of the coronavirus such as suspending the need to pay household bills.

However, the South African government has not said anything on rentals and Maina may find himself in trouble if he fails to raise the R4,000 (Sh23,000) needed by Wednesday next week.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans among victims of S.Africa attacks

“I’m not sure how I will raise the money because the malls have closed and people are indoors. Who will buy my artefacts?”

On a good month, Maina can make up to R10,000 (Sh59,000). Part of that money is sent to his family.

“I’m a father and I’d obviously prefer to be with my kids at a time like this. But the situation doesn’t allow,” he says.

The Kenyan High Commission in Pretoria has warned Kenyans living in South Africa “to adjust to the guidelines issued by President Ramaphosa” and “to familiarise themselves with the directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta including the outlined proactive measures the Kenyan government is taking to contain the spread of Covid-19”.

Even if Maina wants to return home and has the means, the Kenya government has already suspended all international flights into the country except for Cargo flights.

“I’m in a fix, I just have to stay and see how this plays out over the next few weeks,” Maina adds.

For Julia Wanjiru, a Kenyan businesswoman who has lived in Johannesburg for the past decade, it’s yet another blow.

In the last quarter of 2018, Wanjiru lost R40,000 (Sh235,000) worth of goods to looters in clashes that broke out in the city. Five months ago, she had to halt operations because of the wave of xenophobic attacks.

The Covid-19 outbreak has also had a negative impact on her business.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans among victims of S.Africa attacks

But, Wanjiru, 36, a devout Christian, believes she will navigate through the difficult period “by God’s grace”.

“This has affected my business a great deal, but we shall overcome this,” she says, adding that “God is the answer”.

While she is convinced a divine power will help her through this period, she will not neglect playing her part.

“It’s important to follow the measures being implemented by the South African government because they are for our protection,” she says.

Unlike Maina, she has no intention of returning to Kenya soon.

However, she heeded the call by High Commissioner Jean Kamau for Kenyans living in South Africa to “continuously look out for and support one another”. She and Maina occasionally check up on one another.

Unfortunately, she may not be able to help him with his rent come Wednesday next week as she also has to take care of her own.

Another Kenyan, Mike Njeri, 28, works as a car guard in northern Johannesburg.

An emotional Njeri says he wishes he could go back to Kenya.

“I regret being here. I have my country and if I get money for transport, I wouldn’t hesitate to go home,” he says.

He does not feel safe in South Africa, which has the highest coronavirus cases in Africa.

By nation.co.ke


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Health

Shock as man ‘resurrects’ in a Kericho mortuary

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There was drama at Kapkatet sub-county hospital in Kericho on Tuesday night when a 32-year-old man who had been presumed dead and taken to the mortuary regained consciousness close to three hours later.

Mortuary attendants were getting ready to embalm Peter Kigen’s body when they noticed some movements.

Kigen, a resident of Kibwastuiyo village in Bureti Constituency, is said to have collapsed while at home before his family took him to hospital.

His younger brother, Kevin Kipkurui, said he was present when Kigen collapsed. With the help of their cousin, they took Kigen to the hospital at 5.30 pm.

“When we arrived at the casualty department, we met a doctor who asked us to register the details of the patient at the reception while he attended to him,” Kipkurui, who was still in shock, told The Standard.

After registering the patient, Kipkurui said he was again asked to the National Hospital Insurance Fund desk for further documentation of his brother.

Kigen reportedly suffers from a chronic illness.

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“When I went back to the casualty department at around 7.45 pm, I learnt my brother was dead. A nurse told me that he died long before we arrived at the hospital,” Kipkurui said.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans among victims of S.Africa attacks

He added: “The nurse later handed me a document to take to the mortuary attendant before my brother’s body was moved to the morgue.”

However, at 10.30 pm, Kipkuriu said, as they were waiting for embalming of Kigen’s body, they were informed that in fact, he was not dead.

Mortuary attendants who mummified the body told them that Kigen had regained consciousness.

“The mortician called me into the morgue and we saw him make movements. We were shocked. We could not understand how they could move a person who is still alive into the mortuary,” Kipkurui said.

Kigen, who spoke from his hospital bed yesterday, said he was shocked to learn that he was thought to have died and even taken to the mortuary.

“I cannot believe what just happened. How did they establish that I was dead?” he said.

Kirui, who donned his light-blue hospital uniform, was nevertheless happy to be alive and vowed to dedicate his life to evangelism once he’s discharged from hospital.

“I did not even know where I was when I regained consciousness, but I thank God for sparing my life. I will serve him for the rest of my life,” he said.

The hospital’s medical superintendent Gilbert Cheruiyot said Kigen was in critical condition when he was brought in.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans among victims of S.Africa attacks

Dr Cheruiyot said: “His relatives presumed he was dead and did not even wait for certification of death. They moved him to the mortuary, on their own.”

He said the clinical officers at the casualty were busy attending to other critically ill patients when Kigen was brought in, including an epileptic and a diabetic patient.

“They asked Kigen’s relatives to give them some time but they accused the clinicians of taking too much time and decided to take him to the mortuary. It was while the mortician was getting ready to embalm his body that she noticed some signs of life,” said Cheruiyot. He said the mortician informed the team at the casualty department which took Kigen back and begun resuscitating him. The process took three hours before the patient was stabilised.

“The patient was later taken to the ward and is responding well to treatment. We hope to discharge him in a few days,” Dr Cheruiyot said yesterday.

He added: “I advise those bringing their loved ones to the hospital to follow the laid down regulations. Before a body is moved the mortuary, it has to be certified by a clinician. In Kigen’s case, we can only say he was lucky, especially because of our qualified mortician who checked him before making any move,” said Cheruiyot.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans among victims of S.Africa attacks

The bizarre incident saw local MCAs, led by the Majority Leader Hezron Kipngeno, storm the hospital. This is after Chelanget MCA Hezborn Tonui demanded a statement from the heath committee over the incident that shocked the county.


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Health

Janet Mbugua shares her Covid-19 scare

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Media personality Janet Mbugua has shared the tale of the time she faced a scare as thought she had contracted Covid-19 last month.

In a video she shared on Instagram, the former Citizen tv news anchor said she experienced Covid-19 symptoms which escalated quite quickly.

The video shows her being taken through the nasal swab test for Covid-19, which is known to very uncomfortable.

Luckily, the result for the mother of two came back negative.

Janet Mbugua said that her scary experience motivated her to fight the fear and stigma related to Coronavirus, and will use her platform to advocate for a vaccine.

This comes as Covid-19 cases continue to rise sharply in Kenya amid a rush by various pharmaceutical companies globally to come up with an effective vaccine.

By NN


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Comedian Flaqo opens up on rare condition he has been battling

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Popular Kenyan comedian, Flaqo born Erastus Ayieko Otieno has for the first time spoken about a rare condition that he has been struggling with for some time.

Turns out that despite the funny man the Kenyan audience and beyond has grown to know as Flaqo Raz, he has his fair share of battles behind the cameras.

Flaqo opens up

The Internet sensation shared a photo showing red, itchy welts like a form of skin reaction on certain parts of his body.

Depending on the reactions, the welts appear and fade repeatedly and vary in size.

The YouTuber shared his condition with fans in the hope that maybe one or two can relate to what he has been going through and maybe work out a solution on the same.

“Anyone with this condition, how do you go about it?” he posed.

Comedian Flaqo rare skin condition

“Sometimes I have to postpone my shoots because they are unbearable. Zangu zilipotea for 6 months straight. Now they are back…” he replied to a fan who shared a similar experience.

Funny enough, soon as he had put up the post, he got so much feedback, with so many individuals able to relate to his skin condition, to his amazement.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans among victims of S.Africa attacks

“So far: try staying in the sun for a bit, bathe with warm water after taking antihistamines. To understand your condition better, make a point of seeing a dermatologist,” Flaqo shared with fans battling a similar condition, after gathering responses from his fan base.

Wrapping up urging fellow victims to take plenty of water, work out more often and avoid proteins since hives get triggered by things like particular foods, medication and stress.

By Ghafla.com


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