Social media went on a frenzy after a man who died from the deadly coronavirus was buried in a shallow grave in Siaya. The burial took place at midnight while people slept.
The deceased, James Onyango Oyugi, 59, worked with Kenya Ports Authority in Mombasa. He’d travelled with his family, two daughters and wife to Siaya.
Oyugi passed away from the dreadful disease after a non-scary road accident in Awasi, Kisumu.
A police report read, “On April 5, he spent the night in Nairobi. On April 6 while travelling to his home, was involved in a non-injury accident at Awasi market and slept in Kisumu.”
The following day, he travelled to his home in Ukwala, Siaya county. Oyugi remained in self-isolation until April 10, where he developed a cough. The family took him to a private facility; Matibabu Foundation.
He passed away on the very day. Samples collected from him were taken to Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), and it tested positive for COVID-19.
Police got an order to have the body buried after thorough disinfection. To the family’s dismay, the body arrived at 2 am where they had to wake up and witness burial in a shallow grave. With no coffin, the body was buried in a body bag.
I am shocked by the mistreatment of loved ones of and the deceased Siaya County resident claimed to have died of Covid-19 and buried in a shallow grave. Enforcement of the evidently irrational burial Rules is stigmatizing. They should be declared repugnant and unconstitutional.
— Nelson Havi (@NelsonHavi) April 12, 2020
The "mass graves" in New York are only for UNCLAIMED bodies: Those who have no family members or relatives to bury them. Even those are humanely placed in coffins and buried. What you did in Siaya is ABOMINABLE. You treated OYUGI like a wild dog. Shame on you. #uhurumustgo https://t.co/uLVD6yFAhi
— Dr. Miguna Miguna (@MigunaMiguna) April 12, 2020
The govt decided to raid a village in Siaya, dig a shallow grave and throw the dead.
Such actions will see people refuse to test. Where is that fool who is the area MP?
This is wrong. Our leaders, only known to worship Raila for re-election, can’t speak against this. Sad! pic.twitter.com/0S4CUgwhz7
— Robert Alai (@RobertAlai) April 12, 2020
People assigned to bury the body wore white protective gear. They pulled the body from the back of the track and threw it in the grave.
On a video that’s gone viral on social media, family members could be heard wailing in the background.
The careless handling of the deceased is what led to an outrage on social media. Why wouldn’t they let the family provide a befitting send-off.
Although it’s mandatory for bodies of people who succumbed from coronavirus to undergo burial in the shortest time possible, it’s not okay to take away the right of a family to bury their family member.