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Cultural Practices On Burials May Not Be Practical Moving Forward – CS Kagwe

mutahi kagwe, coronavirus kenya
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has been forced to respond to the bizarre burial of a COVID-19 patient in Siaya following public outrage.

Addressing the media at Afya House, Kagwe stated that the human remains of COVID-19 victims will be disposed of in a manner that protects the lives of the living.

Further, he cautioned netizens to be fully prepared for worst-case scenarios adding that moving forward there will be more challenges where the cultural practices on how bodies of the dead are disposed might not be practical.

“Moving forward there will be challenges. I will be brutally honest that our cultural process on how we dispose the bodies of our loved ones may not be practical in extreme situations,” he said.

Read: Cases of COVID-19 Rise To 208 After 11 People Tested Positive

This was echoed by Education CS George Magoha who applauded Kagwe for the work done so far adding that it is for the best interest of the family and the country at large.

Magoha referenced the night burial of Siaya COVID-19 victim whose send off ignited anger among netizens.

“The goal is to ensure that the disease is controlled. What has been done is on the interest of family and country,” said Magoha.

Further, Kagwe appealed to employers to be humane with their employees at this hard time and called upon those who had sent their employees on unpaid leave to be fair and support them with the minimum requirements of their households.

Read: Here Are The New Guidelines On Disposing Remains Of COVID-19 Victims

The burial of a COVID-19 victim which took place in Kamalungi village in Simur, North Ugenya has ignited fury among netizens over what was termed as an “indecent send-off.”

Speaking to Citizen TV last night, Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor stated that it was unprocedural although he ruled out the possibility of exhuming the body for a decent burial.

“The body should be put in a coffin and the family has to be involved as much as possible in the ceremony. The grave should be standard which is about six feet. We have bodybags designated for such bodies and they are very specific. These bags can keep a body for about 10 years. If they followed the guidelines, there should be no smell,” added Oduor.

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Written by Mercy Auma

Passionate about human interest stories and politics. Email

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