Siaya Governor Rasanga kicks off probe into COVID-19 victim’s burial after public uproar

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Siaya governor Cornel Rasanga Amoth has launched investigation into burial of COVID-19 victim who was interred without coffin in the middle of the night.

As earlier reported by TUKO.co.ke, James Oyugi Onyago succumbed to COVID-19 on Friday, April 10 after travelling from Mombasa to his village home in Siaya. 

His body was hurriedly buried by county officials without a coffin despite the family’s plea to allow them time to have a coffin and to bury him during the day.

After much uproar on social media, governor Rasanga has appointed a team led by county police boss Francis Kooli to probe the burial ceremony.

The county chief said he is keen to establish who issued the directives that the deceased be interred inhumanly in a haste, against the family wishes.

He distanced his administration from the burial arrangement saying the decision was arrived at without consulting his committee and they were only informed of the matter at 4pm on Sunday.

He has promised to take stern disciplinary action against those involved and warned officials in the public health department to stop operating without consulting higher authorities.

Speaking during an interview in one of the local television station on Monday, Rasanga said that he regrets that the victim was given a barbaric send-off.

“I am very sorry to the Republic of Kenya that this thing occurred the way it occurred. It was indeed very barbaric,” Rasanga said.

He has also promised to assist the family to perform final rites once they are out of quarantine.

Rasanga’s statement came barely hours after the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), Western Kenya branch, condemned the incident and demanded an apology from the Ministry of Health and the county government of Siaya.

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