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During the burial of University of Nairobi lecturer Ken Ouko that took place oyugis area homabay county the family members of the late don narrated how ouko’s widow was stigmatised due to her Covid-19 status, revealing a controversy and hitches that might have contributed to his delayed burial.
The don’s uncle, Dr Sam Ouko, the Chief pharmacist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri), said it took his intervention for Mrs Grace Ouko to be allowed to bury her husband saying that regretted that the family was sidelined at its time of need.
Dr Ouko blamed the Homa Bay County Covid-19 emergency response team, accusing it of failing to follow stipulated regulations and attempting to deny the family an opportunity to bury the renowned sociology lecturer.
“In line with government restrictions on how to bury Covid-19 victims, we encountered many difficulties in having the body buried after 48 hours and ensuring his widow and children gave their loved one a befitting send off,” he said at the don’s home in Nyandiwa, Homa Bay.
The burial was marked with the heavy presence of the police who manned the compound as villagers followed proceedings through the fence. The cortege, initially scheduled to reach at home by 6am Friday, was seven hours late following clearance hitches at the hospital. It had been scheduled to depart earlier on Thursday in order to arrive in Homa Bay at dawn.
The body remained in the hearse for the estimated one hour and 45 minutes that the ceremony took.
As with all Covid-19 cases, residents were not allowed to view the body as the county emergency response team took charge of the burial.
Mrs Ouko and two of their four children initially tested positive for the virus but were later found negative.
The widow, who travelled in the hearse from Aga Khan University Hospital mortuary, read her eulogy from the vehicle. She only alighted from the car at the very last moments of the burial.