COVID-19

Suspected virus death of Kenya's embassy staff in the US

Preliminary examination indicated that she had all the symptoms related to the virus.

In Summary

• Ruth Anyango Ogonda attached at the Kenya's Consulate-General in Los Angeles is suspected to have succumbed to the COVID-19 virus.

• Ogonda was suddenly taken ill at her residence on the morning of 10th April 2020 before she was rushed to Olympia Medical Centre, Los Angeles.

Some of the isolation rooms for COVID-19 patients
Some of the isolation rooms for COVID-19 patients
Image: COURTESY

A Kenyan administrative attaché in the United States of America is dead.

Ruth Anyango Ogonda attached to Kenya's Consulate-General in Los Angeles is suspected to have succumbed to the COVID-19 virus.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ogonda was suddenly taken ill at her residence on the morning of Thursday last week following which, Consulate staff called in paramedics who rushed her to Olympia Medical Centre, Los Angeles where she was admitted.

 
 
 

An official at the ministry told the Star that preliminary examination indicates she had all the symptoms related to the virus.

The official said the ministry is, however, awaiting for post-mortem results to be issued before the end of the day.

"It is with the deepest regret, that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, announces the untimely demise on Friday, 10th April 2020, of Ruth Anyango Ogonda, the Administrative Attaché at Kenya’s Consulate-General in Los Angeles, United States of America," read part of the statement by Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau.

The PS said the Olympia Medical Centre Hospital in Los Angeles has scheduled an autopsy this week to establish the actual cause of death.

He said the  Ministry will issue another statement upon receipt of the autopsy report from the hospital.

"The Ministry is in close contact with the next of kin, as well as Consulate staff in Los Angeles, in order to better manage all the operational details, as well as to cushion the immediate family of the deceased officer, currently residing in Los Angeles," he said.

Kamau said Ogonda was a seasoned, calm, effective staffer, collaborating well with her colleagues and leadership in delivering the Ministry’s core mandate.

"She was transferred into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2015 and served diligently in the Americas Department up to her posting to Los Angeles in July 2018," he said.

Kamau said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is deeply saddened by this sudden loss, but resolves, even at this challenging period of the COVID 19 pandemic, to continue working for the people of Kenya in all of Kenya’s Missions abroad.

He said the Ministry has put in place robust measures, reflecting Kenya’s own, to protect all staff members from the challenges associated with COVID 19.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes this early opportunity to offer its deepest, most heartfelt condolences to the immediate family, friends and relatives of the late Ms Ogonda for the terrible loss and assures them of every support at this difficult time as they mourn their loved one," he said.

Once confirmed, Ogonda will be the third Kenyan to die in the US following the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, there are 1,866,654 confirmed cases globally with 115,269 deaths and 434,054.

There are 15,198 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in and around the African continent including 794 deaths and 2,951 recoveries.

Kenya reported its first case on March 13 and has so far reported 197 cases with 8 deaths.