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15 Baringo teachers succumb to Covid-19 related illnesses

They died while receiving treatment in various hospitals as a majority of them bore the symptoms

In Summary

•Kenya National Union of Teachers Baringo branch executive secretary Joshua Cheptarus has put the county health department on high alert.

•Asymptomatic children are the most carriers of the virus.

More than 10 teachers have succumbed to Covid-19 related illnesses in Baringo since last month.

Kenya National Union of Teachers Baringo branch executive secretary Joshua Cheptarus has put the county health department on high alert.

Speaking to the Star on Sunday, he said they were shocked after losing and burying their 15 members between August and September.

Cheptarus said the victims died while receiving treatment in various hospitals, as a majority of them bore Covid-19 symptoms.

He listed five victims in Baringo North, three in Eldama-Ravine, two in Baringo South, two in Baringo Central and three from Mogotio.

“Those are just teachers but many residents have also fallen sick and died in our hospitals,” he said.

Mourners during the burail of a loved one in Bartolimo, Baringo North subcounty on Friday.
Mourners during the burail of a loved one in Bartolimo, Baringo North subcounty on Friday.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

The unionist said asymptomatic children are the most carriers of the virus.

“Children cough and sneeze in class, one might confuse that with flu or common cold but they end up infecting the vulnerable elderly teachers,” Cheptarus said.

He, therefore, said teachers should be in the front line to receive the Covid-19 vaccination urging them to neglect the propaganda that vaccines carry some adverse health effects.

“Many of us have been vaccinated and nothing serious has happened,” he said.

Cheptarus said teachers should also become crusaders of the vaccines in their respective rural villages.

He urged the teachers and residents to observe the Ministry of Health protocols and avert more deaths.

He called upon the county health sector to enhance the oxygen machines saying patients hardly survive once admitted to the poorly equipped facilities.

Last week the county health department registered a huge number of critically ill Covid-19 patients admitted to Kabarnet and Eldama-Ravine referral hospitals.

Mourners view the body of a loved one in Bartolimo, Baringo North subccounty on Friday.
Mourners view the body of a loved one in Bartolimo, Baringo North subccounty on Friday.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

Some were referred for further treatment in Nakuru and Eldoret hospitals.

“Out of the total patients we received in our facility, half of them tested positive of Coronavirus,” Kabarnet hospital staff said.

The residents were also requested to observe the new Health ministry rules to collect the bodies of their loved ones from the Kabarnet county referral hospital mortuary for burial within 72 hours to avoid congestion at the facility.

Hospital medical superintendent Charles Maswai said the facility with a total capacity of storing 48 bodies is already getting full.

“We are now requesting our people to come and collect the bodies of their loved ones to create space,” Maswai said.

He said the highest number of unclaimed bodies lying in the morgue come from the Tiaty subcounty, East Pokot and some have overstayed now for almost two months.

“Our facility is too small and we are almost lacking space to accommodate the increasing number of deaths,” he said.

Baringo County Referral Hospital
Baringo County Referral Hospital
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

The increased number of deaths currently experienced in the county hospitals is however attributed to the widespread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maswai said they have already sought permission from the Magistrate Court to acquire a license to dispose of the unclaimed bodies in the public cemetery.

“We are almost through with the court process and we shall soon be getting rid of the uncollected bodies in our facility,” he said.

He further said the highest number of covid-19 cases registered in the county is high compared to the available facilities.

“Currently we have a capacity of only 8 beds in our Intensive Care Unit which are less compared to the high number of patients,” Maswai said.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris