CURBING THE PANDEMIC

Malindi residents at risk as they crowd mortuaries without masks

A spot check at the Malindi subcounty hospital revealed people do not observe social distancing and few wear masks.

In Summary
  • Malindi has been rated among the high-risk areas by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.
  • Only 10 people are supposed to go to the mortuary to pick bodies and 100 to attend the burial.

Residents of Malindi are at increased risk of infection as they crowd mortuaries to pick bodies of their loved ones without observing the Covid-19 protocols.

Residents of Malindi are at increased risk of infection as they crowd mortuaries to pick bodies of their loved ones without observing the Covid-19 protocols.

A spot check at the Malindi subcounty hospital revealed that people do not observe social distancing and very few wear masks.

This is despite the fact that Malindi has been rated among the high-risk areas by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.

During the Star's visit to the Malindi mortuary, we came face to face with hundreds of residents who had come to pick their loved ones.

As per the protocols, only 10 people are supposed to go to the mortuary to pick bodies and 100 to attend the burial.

However, in Malindi and the larger Kilifi county, the situation is different as people turn out in large numbers at funerals enjoying the local palm wine mnazi freely without bothering about the threat of the virus.

Kilifi county Covid-19 Emergency Response Committee led by Governor Amason Kingi has been pleading with residents to observe the rules in vain.

On Monday during a security briefing on the state of the pandemic Kingi and county commissioner Kutswa Olaka emphasized the need to observe the protocols.

Malindi assistant county commissioner Omar Abdi said they had tried to talk with the medical superintendent of Malindi to ensure they change the dates for releasing bodies.

"Normally, bodies are released not only on Friday and Saturday but during the other days of the week to reduce crowding. We have also instructed him to introduce strict measures and we are in a cordial relationship with them. We brief them and even now we will remind them,'' he said.

Abdi urged members of the public to be responsible enough to prevent them from spreading the virus and not wait for the police to force them.

Malindi subcounty police boss Joe Lekuta said there is a need for people to abandon the tradition of removing bodies on Friday and Saturday and bury a person any day of the week due to the threat of the pandemic.

He said it was unfortunate that people wore masks because of fear of the police and not to protect themselves from contracting the virus.

"We are holding barazas and we are actually telling them that while picking bodies at the mortuary, let us have at most 10 people and we are discouraging disco matangas," he said.

Edited by Henry Makori