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‘I didn’t have symptoms but I tested positive for coronavirus’

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On Wednesday, two men lay on their isolation beds at the Mbagathi Hospital, contemplating their fate.

They shared the silence only broken by the wheezy, almost rhythmical coughs, the same anxiety in the harrowing hours as they waited for their results.

The results would determine who goes home and who stays.

The following day, Stephen Omukoko tested positive for the Covid-19. Kara’s (he asked to identified only by one name) test was negative.

Omukoko had arrived in the hospital on Wednesday morning aboard an ambulance from a hospital in Bungoma where he had gone to seek treatment. Bungoma health workers referred him to Mbagathi after he showed symptoms associated with the virus.

But while Omukoko is settling down in Mbagathi as he recovers, Kara is glad to be home.

Deceptive disease

“I am only feeling bored. I have not had any instances of high fever and that is why to me this disease seems to be very deceptive,” he said.

While he cannot tell where he was exposed to the virus, Omukoko, who is a student in Switzerland, said his temperature was checked at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and it was normal.“At JKIA, our fever was checked and the rest of us who did not have any issues were allowed to clear with immigration and go to our destinations,” he said.

When Omukoko landed at JKIA, he boarded another flight to Kisumu from where he boarded a matatu to his home village in Mumias.Our Omukoko conversation was incessantly getting interrupted by a cough from one of the patients he shared the ward with. He is in a ward with five other patients who are positive.He is not as bad as he sounds, Omukoko said of the other patient, he is actually improving.

“I had a positive mind about the results and the only thing left to do is recover,” he said.  For Kara, on the other hand, testing negative for the virus was just the second time in a week that he had come close to the brink. He had escaped a positive diagnosis and a beating by a mob.

In the four days that he was isolated at Mbagathi, five people who were also isolated in the wards tested positive. He had to take the test three times since one of his results was inconclusive.From March 10 when he was in Kilifi to meet a businessman, he had traveled to Kwale, Mombasa, Naivasha, Nairobi and finally to his home in Isiolo.

Mob justice

He said that wh en he had returned to work in Isiolo and woke up with chest pains and a dry cough and went around the town looking for a mask, he was affronted by a mob and almost beaten.

“I had just come from a hardware shop after I settled for a dust mask since I couldn’t get a face mask. They were accusing me of bringing the virus to Isiolo and would have beaten me if it wasn’t for some of the boda boda riders who knew me,” Kara said yesterday.

“After that, I called the county Public Health Officer, described my symptoms and was advised to quarantine since they did not have the test kits. In the course of the day, officers from the Covid-19 response team got in touch with me to check how I was doing,” he said.The next day he woke up having improved. The chest pain was gone and his cough was not as bad. “The response team ruled me out as a suspected case,” he said.

However, when he left Isiolo and traveled to Naivasha and later Nairobi, the chest pains persisted.“Two of the people I had met in Mombasa and Kilifi called and said they were having severe headache and the most high-risk person they had been in touch with was me,” he said.He went to Mbagathi after news broke about Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi. He had come back from Germany but did not self-isolate and is one of the people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

By Standard


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Health

Coronavirus-burdened US warns its citizens against travel to Kenya

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The US government has issued a travel advisory to Kenya, citing an increased risk of contracting Covid-19, this despite the country being among those leading globally with the virus infections.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in an updated health notice on Wednesday warned American citizens against travelling to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.

CDC placed the four nations under Level 4 Alert, meaning there is a very high level of Covid-19 and all non-essential travel should be avoided.

“Travelers should avoid all travel to Kenya. Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19,” said CDC in a notice.

If one must travel to these countries, they must strictly adhere to the health protocols on Covid-19 including wearing masks and keeping six feet distance from other people, CDC added.

“Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19,” stated the US health institute on its website.

“During travel, wear a mask, stay at least six feet from people who are not traveling with you, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, and watch your health for signs of illness.”

CDC further urged American travellers to get tested for Covid-19 one to three days before travel and only leave the country after receiving the results.

Those returning to the US must also undergo testing one to three days earlier and adhere to all Covid-19 regulations.

According to the CDC, a Level 3 Travel Health Notice is the highest risk level and means citizens should strive to avoid all non-essential travel.

A CDC Level 2 Travel Health Notice advises American citizens to practice enhanced precautions while a Level 1 Travel Health Notice advises Americans to practice usual precautions.

The warnings come as US reported its highest number of Covid-19 deaths in a single day on Wednesday with 3,157 new fatalities and more than 273,799 people having died due to the virus and more than 13.9 million infected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

On Thursday, Kenya registered the highest recoveries on a single day after 11,324 patients were discharged in 24 hours bringing the total number of recoveries to 67,788 since April 1.

Similarly, 1,253 patients tested positive after 10,170 samples were analyzed in the same period.

Kenya’s caseload rose to 86,383 on Thursday out of 911,596 samples analyzed since March.

The Covid-19 death toll also rose to 1,500 after 16 more patients succumbed to the disease.

by NN


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Kericho man who woke up in mortuary dies

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The man who was taken to the mortuary at Kapkatet Sub County Hospital in Kericho County after being presumed dead, has breathed his last.

Peter Cheruiyot died while being transferred to Kericho County Referral Hospital in an ambulance on Thursday afternoon for specialised treatment.

He was transferred to the mortuary hours after his family rushed him to hospital after collapsing at his home.

Cheplanget Ward Representative Hezborn Tonui confirmed that the man had passed on.

“It is true. He has breathed his last while being transferred to Kericho for further treatment. I am at the homestead condoling with the family,” Mr Tonui told the Nation on telephone.

In an interview with the Nation on Thursday last week, Cheruiyot said it was a miracle he was still alive. He was confident that he would recover and join his family. But that did not come to pass.

 “I am happy to be alive…it is a miracle that I am breathing, talking and I can move my limbs and eat. This is the work of God,” the 32 year old Cheruiyot told the Nation in an interview on Thursday last week.

Cooling chamber

In what generated a lot of reaction in the South Rift region and beyond, the father of four cried out when a mortician attempted to cut an incision on his leg so as to insert preservatives on the body before it could be put in the cooling chamber.

“I felt an excruciating pain on the leg and screamed my lungs out. It is like I was being burned with a hot iron bar,” said Cheruiyot.

As we conducted the interview, relatives, villagers and curious members of the public jammed the male ward at the hospital to have a glimpse of the man who “rose from the dead”.

“I do not know what happened prior to my being dumped in the mortuary. The next thing I knew after screaming, which I was initially not sure if anyone heard me, is that I was being wheeled to the ward,” said the former matatu tout.

After screaming and catching the attention of the mortician, the patient passed out again and was rushed to the emergency ward where doctors resuscitated him before admission.

When he fainted at Keroncho village in Cheplanget on Tuesday last week, the patient was rushed to hospital by relatives.

At the hospital, he was allegedly left unattended by doctors and nurses at the casualty ward.

“How they (medics) arrived at the conclusion that I had died, leading to my transfer to the mortuary is a matter of conjecture,” said Cheruiyot adding that the fresh wound on the right upper part of the leg which was cut in the morgue was very painful.

Interestingly, despite looking frail and at times struggling to speak, he had a razor sharp memory as he could recognise relatives and friends by name.

Family members said that the man had been battling a terminal illness and had been in and out of various hospitals in the region.

Low immunity

Due to his low immunity, he has been admitted to some of the facilities for days for treatment according to medical records seen by the Nation.

“When he fainted at home, we used a Toyota Probox to rush him to hospital where doctors said he had passed on. We were shocked to be told later by the mortuary attendants that he was still alive,” Mr Kevin Kipkirui, the patient’s younger brother, told journalists at the hospital.

Dr Gilbert Cheruiyot, the Medical Superintendent at Kapkatet Sub County Hospital said last week that the patient was taken to the mortuary by his relatives.

“In a breach of protocol, the family members rushed the patient to the mortuary after presuming that he had died,” said Dr Cheruiyot

He said that the matter was under investigations and the gaps that had been detected would be addressed after a report on investigation is tabled.

Members of the Kericho County Assembly on Tuesday absolved medical officers at the hospital of blame after an ad hoc committee on health formed to investigate the matter tabled its report in the House.

The committee was chaired by Hezron Ngetich (Chilchila ward), with Ms Ann Tum (nominated) as the vice chairperson while other members are- Paul Chirchir, Gilbert Ngetich, Wangare Njuguna, Emily Kerich, Erick Bii, Humprhey Kirui, Eric Bett and Philip Rono.

by nation.africa


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Health

KQ loses second pilot to Covid-19 in London

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The national carrier Kenya Airways has lost another pilot to Covid-19.

Captain Salah Salim Jeizan, 57, died at a London hospital on Wednesday, the airline’s chief human resources officer Evelyne Munyoki said in a condolence message.

Captain Jeizan flew to London’s Heathrow Airport on November 7 from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport but developed difficulties in breathing while in a London hotel.

Jeizan was rushed to the hospital from his hotel room and put on oxygen.

According to Ibrahim Johnny, a close colleague, the deceased will be buried on Thursday in London under the Islamic law.

Captain Jeizan joined the national carrier in 2001 as a junior pilot and rose through the ranks to his last position as a senior captain on the Boeing 787 fleet.

He flew to different international destinations in Europe, US and the Middle East.

“On behalf of the board of directors, the management and staff of Kenya Airways, we join the family of the late captain Jeizan in mourning their beloved one and pray that the almighty God will strengthen them during this time of sorrow,” KQ said in a statement.

In April Kenya lost its first captain, Daudi Kibati, days after commandeering a flight that evacuated Kenyans stranded in the US after the outbreak of Covid-19.

The captain was taken ill on March 29 after returning from New York and he died on April 1.

By NN


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