Panic gripped residents of Meru town after a policeman guarding a bank branch collapsed and died on Tuesday afternoon.
The police officer who was attached to the Meru Police Station was on guard duty at Equity Bank Makutano branch when he died suddenly.
Meru County Police Commander Patrick Lumumba said the officer had gone to answer a call of nature at the bank's restrooms at around 2.00pm where he collapsed and died. When he took too long without returning to his duty post, his colleagues went in search of him and found him already dead.
Owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, public health officials were called to the scene to help evacuate the officer's body and conduct the appropriate procedures like fumigation of the premises.
News about the officer's untimely death spread like wild fire causing panic among residents as they attributed his sudden demise to being caused by the deadly coronavirus.
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While ruling out Covid-19 as the cause of death, Lumumba asked for calm saying that the officer had previously been in good health and that precautions were only taken in handling the deceased's body as per the public health guidelines issued to help combat coronavirus.
"The officer had no known previous health issues. As with every sudden death these days, precautions have to be taken while handling corpses until doctors can determine the cause of death," said Lumumba.
The financial institution was in lockdown for hours after the incident as relevant authorities sought to carry out the appropriate guidelines and precautionary measures.