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Second Kenyan dies of Covid-19 in the US

A 38-year-old Kenyan-born man has died in New York, United States after being diagnosed with coronavirus, becoming the second Kenyan to have died of the pandemic in the past week.

Peter Juma who worked as a bus driver for a company based at a New York airport, succumbed to the virus on Saturday and his family is seeking help to have his remains airlifted to Kenya for burial.

According to a Kenyan diaspora website Samrack, Juma died a week after he was taken ill.

And due to the high rate of infection associated with Covid-19, none of the few relatives with him in the US was allowed to visit him in the hospital.

His sister, who is also in the US, did not manage to travel as she lives far from New York.

He is the son of Bishop Elisha Juma and Reverend Mary Juma of Kenya Assemblies of God in Tudor, Mombasa County and relocated to the US about four years ago.

Plans to bring their son’s body to Kenya have been complicated by the current ban on all international flights due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The family is also experiencing challenges in communicating with US authorities due to time differences and fears Peter may be buried in the US in their absence or in the presence of very few family members.

According to his mother, Juma had visited the family in December and returned to the States mid-January.

The requirement that bodies of Covid-19 victims are disposed within the shortest time possible is another hurdle for the family.

“What we are sure of, is that we cannot travel due to the ban on international flights. We are trying to exhaust all options to see what will work. We are reaching out to the embassy to see the options they will provide,” the family added.

As cases of Covid-19 continue to take a heavy toll on the US, which has become the epicentre of the virus, the family has already been notified that the body will be taken for cremation after Thursday.

Last week, Laban Kimungu Njoroge who had lived in the US for years and hailed from Molo succumbed to coronavirus.

Kimungu was being treated for an underlying condition when he succumbed to Covid-19.