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Panic as man dies from suspected Covid-19 in city matatu

Panic rocked Mombasa Road in Nairobi when a matatu passenger died in his seat yesterday.

The 14-seater matatu was headed to the city centre when passengers realised that one of them was not conscious.

He had been asked to give way to a woman who wanted to alight.

The incident, near Belle Vue caused panic, with passengers and crew saying the man may have died from coronavirus-related complications.

Immediately the matatu came to a halt, passengers jumped out as the driver and conductor made calls to Ministry of Health officials.

A video taken by an onlooker and shared online showed health workers in protective gear fumigating the matatu with the body man’s still inside.

Another showed health workers and the driver removing the body from the vehicle.

Collapsed and died

The incident took place just a day after a man collapsed and died outside a mortuary in Thika, Kiambu county.

Several cases of people suddenly dying have been recorded since Kenya recorded its first coronavirus case in March.

Researchers at the University of Michigan last month said critically ill patients or those with underlying conditions are likely to get cardiac arrest if they contract the virus.

KCB Bank closed its Kencom House branch when a customer collapsed and died last month.
Michael Nyang Jook, 66, was the ambassador of South Sudan to Eritrea.

Three people collapsed and died in Makueni, Nairobi and Mombasa counties on the same day in July.

The first case occurred in Kitivo village, Makueni county. The elderly man died shortly after complaining of headache and breathing difficulties.

Makueni Health executive Andrew Mulwa later said the 65-year-old tested positive for coronavirus.

A street boy who had complained of the same symptoms collapsed and died in Industrial Area, Nairobi.

Later in the day, a man who had been taken the Technical University of Mombasa isolation centre also died.

Meanwhile, authorities in Nyeri county say they are alarmed by the sharp rise in infections.

They have put in place measures to stop the spread of the disease, especially at Nyeri Water and Sanitation Company (Nyewasco), which they have labelled a hotspot.

Positivity rate

Community infections have shot up in the last three weeks. Authorities blame the situation on locals not following the Ministry of Health guidelines.

The region recorded 131 new infections in the last seven days, the highest confirmed in a week since the country registered its first case in March.

The devolved government wants the water company to shut its offices, saying its buildings in Nyeri town have a 50 per cent positivity rate.

Company MD Peter Gichaaga died of the disease days ago.

County Secretary Benjamin Gachichio yesterday said Nyewasco should scale down its operations in the next 10 days.

However, officials of the firm said it is not possible close down the premises as that would compromise services “since water is essential in the war against the virus”.

Acting MD Peter Kahuthu said the company has come up with measures to fight the pandemic, including sensitising employees to observe the Ministry of Health protocols.

Employees who are 58 years old and above have been instructed to work from home.

Mr Kahuthu said some workers have taken their annual leave while the few remaining are frequently tested for coronavirus.

“We have suspended meter reading for a month to reduce interactions between our workers and clients,” Mr Kahuthu said.