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KPA employee who succumbed to virus is buried in Mombasa

A woman who died after contracting the deadly coronavirus was buried in Mombasa yesterday.

Ursula Buluma died at a Mombasa hospital yesterday morning and was buried as Mbaraki Cemetery.

“Yes, I can confirm she died of Covid-19,” said Hajji Masemo, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Principal Corporate Communication Officer and a member of KPA Covid-19 committee.

The long time employee at the port was nearing retirement and is said to have had an underlying health condition before she contracted the virus. She was admitted at Pandya Memorial Hospital after developing chest pains and breathing difficulties on Monday. She tested positive the same day.

According to family sources, Buluma was one of three KPA employees quarantined after developing symptoms similar to those of Covid-19.

A KPA official said a wing of the KPA administration department, where Ms Buluma was working, has been closed down and some 15 employees asked to self-quarantine.

Yesterday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe confirmed that one person who had tested positive of the virus in Mombasa died. He did not, however, reveal the name.

The Standard established that Buluma was taken ill on Monday and rushed to a private hospital in Malindi. An official at KPA said she may have contracted the disease locally because she had not travelled outside the country.

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Wear masks

At the burial, only about 15 people were allowed into the cemetery and were directed to wear masks and stand about six metres apart.

Meanwhile, the County Government of Mombasa yesterday received 10 ventilators to assist in the treatment of Covid-19 patients as it announced mass tests and compulsory wearing of face masks in the coming days.

The county anti-Covid-19 emergency team announced that Export Processing Zones in Mombasa will mass-produce and deliver one million mask for free distribution to residents while mass testing will also be launched soon.

Governor Hassan Joho said his administration has launched investigations to ascertain if a patient who died at a private hospital in Mombasa succumbed to coronavirus and whether she was denied adequate treatment.

“We received information that a suspected patient of Covid-19 died last night. We are looking at the possibility that vital equipment that the patient required might not have been made available maybe because of escalating hospital bill. If this is found to be true, we shall ask the national government to take stern action against this hospital,’’ Joho said.

The Standard later witnessed three vehicles leave a private mortuary escorted by a Prado with Government of Kenya number plate ahead of a hearse belonging to Janam Funeral Services. The vehicles headed straight to Mbaraki Cemetry where a handful of relatives waited.

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