Surge in COVID-19 deaths a business boom for coffin and hearse dealers

Surge in COVID-19 deaths a business boom for coffin and hearse dealers

The Ministry of Health is urging Kenyans to keenly adhere to COVID-19 protocols put in place by the government in a bid to curb the spread of the Delta Variant which has for the last three months claimed over 700 lives in the country.

A spotcheck by Citizen TV has revealed that morgues in the country are overstretched with some recording at least 60% of the deaths to be Covid-19 related

Carpenters at a workshop in Thika town opposite General Kago Funeral Home are racing to deliver caskets ordered by their customers in Kiambu County and neighbouring counties in Central region. For these carpenters, business is booming amid the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.

“Zamani tulikuwa tunaunda 30 – 40 kwa siku na saa hii inakuja mia kwa siku. Kuna watu wanakuja kutoka Embu, Kirinyaga, Kiambu which means vifo vimeenda juu sana. We are worried hata ukiunda ingine unafikiria unaunda yako…,” says Mburu Ndabi, a carpenter.

It is a story shared by hearse operators and coffin sellers at Kenyatta Market.

Doreen Awour a coffin seller says, “Those two years it has been picking and it has been hectic, Like my office I handled more than 50 in the last like two months.”

“Huwa tunainsist sana barua ya hospitali juu kama imeconfirmiwa ni Covid tunacharge expensive kwa sababu ya hizo PPEs na tukisema anabebwa na body bag hiyo body bag haiwezi kutumiwa tena inafaa kutupwa ju lazima dereva avae PPE na msaidizi wake,” she adds.

The gravity of the situation is well captured at morgues where they deliver their coffins.

A source at one of the morgues in Nairobi which can handle at least 70 bodies has intimated to Citizen TV that over the last one month they have been receiving over 100 bodies with 60 percent of the deaths being COVID-19 related. Our source indicates that at least this has been the situation in a number of morgues in the country.

“We saw what happened in Kiambaa, we saw the result of the campaigning period in Kiambaa where we lost a lot of people, it is obvious if you call crowds in… if you go campaigning it is obvious that you will kill people, so what is the political cost we are going to bear when all we are going to do in the near future is burying our people,” said Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.

The World Health Organisation had earlier this month indicated that Africa recorded an 80 percent jump in Covid-19 deaths, a situation that is worrying even though most Kenyans disregard health guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health.

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COVID-19 ministry of health

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