The government has responded to a viral video of the burial of a Covid-19 victim in Siaya County that the public termed as disparaging.
Speaking during an interview on Citizen TV, Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor admitted that there was an error in the burial procedure the medics applied to dispose of the body.
He pointed out that the people who handled the issue hastily could have given the deceased a decent burial by placing the body in a coffin and involving the family as much as possible.
“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.
“According to our guidelines, we were very clear that the body should have two body bags with the external one decontaminated. The body also should be put in a coffin and the family has to be involved as much as possible in the ceremony,” explained Oduor.
He further admitted that the grave in which the deceased was buried during the hasty pre-dawn burial was shallow but assured that the body had been packaged well enough to avoid any smell.
“We discouraged embalming because we are encouraging minimal exposure to the body because of the virus it is carrying. The body has to be put in two body bags to enhance decontamination.
“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,” he added.
The hurried burial of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) employee on the morning of Sunday, April 12, raised eyebrows among locals as well as the nation.
A police report confirmed that the man had travelled 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.
The employee and his family were involved in a minor accident while travelling to their country home along the Kerich-Kisumu highway necessitating the police to tow his car to Awasi Police Station.
A section of Kenyans had decried the callous way in which the state handled the situation without involving the deceased’s family members.
Credit : Kenyans.co.ke