The government now says the bizarre Siaya burial of a suspected Covid-19 victim was not according to the stipulated guidelines.
Speaking to Citizen TV last night, Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor however ruled out possibility of exhuming the body for a decent burial.
“I don’t think that was what we meant when we came up with the guidelines. What we meant was burying the body within 24 to 48 hours. Even when you are burying the body, cultural, religious observation should be taken care of,” said Dr Oduor.
The burial took place in Kamalungi village in Simur, North Ugenya even as police and health officials hunted for those who tried to attend the 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.
The victim, James Onyango, was a Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) employee who traveled from Mombasa on Sunday, April 5, accompanied by his wife and two children before he passed away on Friday, April 10, at around 8.00 p.m.
James Onyango’s body was wrapped in a body bag and buried at his home in Kamalungi village at 2am.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the government has ordered that dead people be buried within 48 hours. A maximum of 15 mourners only are allowed to attend the burial.