Dr. Ken Ouko
Dr. Ken Ouko

By Reporter

The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in the country with the infections rising to 22,053  as of Sunday and 369 people succumbing to Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

A total of 8,477 people have recovered fully.

The virus attacks both the poor and rich, the young and old and does not spare the low and the mighty.

The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 690 new infections in the last 24 hours from 5,393 samples.  Cumulatively, 315,723 people have been tested.

Out of the new cases, 681 are Kenyans and the rest foreigners. Some 492 are males and 198 females.

The youngest is six months old and the oldest 83 years old.

Nairobi remains the hotspot, with 535 new cases. Kiambu had 56, Kajiado 28, Nyeri 24, Busia nine, Machakos seven, Kisumu six, Nakuru six, Embu and Garissa four each, Laikipia and Narok three each and Bungoma, Kwale, Mombasa, Meru and Nyandarua one each.

On Saturday, the number of cases was 727 with 23 deaths.

Some of the big names so far who have fallen to Covid-19 include:

Dr Ken Ouko, a University of Nairobi sociology lecturer, who died on Saturday at 53.

Ouko once said in a live television interview that it is a human being’s natural instinct to huddle together when confronting a diversity and threat.

This, according to him, explained why Kenyans were having trouble avoiding crowds and gatherings despite the government’s insistence on social distancing to keep the virus at bay.

He said reaching out for a hug and comfort was a natural human response to the threat.

He was being treated at the Aga Khan Hospital. WhatsApp messages attributed to him while in ICU painted a picture of a man in excruciating pain, desperate for support and help.

“The very dedicated team of doctors here at Aga Khan Hospital have tried their best but hii kitu nikama ilidamage my lungs too much,” he told a friend on WhatApp, asking for prayers.

“They have just left my room looking all very forlorn after a decision to transfer me to ICU,” he continued.

“Please pray for me. God still loves me so I know he will spare me but just in case I don’t make it, I pray I will still live forever in your minds and spirits,” Ouko told friends, who after his death said he had a premonition he would not come out of ICU alive.

At some point, Ouko sent a video looking and sounding frail, indicating that the doctors had said his lungs had collapsed.

His specialty was medical sociology, gerontology and deviance.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha eulogised him as a lively and brilliant person, adding that his death dispelled perceptions that the virus only fatally attacked older people. 

Dr Doreen Lugaliki

Doreen Lugaliki was the first frontline medical doctor in the country to succumb to Covid-19 while trying to snatch the life of her patient from the virus. .

The 38 year-old consultant obstetrician started complaining of an uncomfortable cold on July 6 and on the advice of her siblings, checked into the Aga Khan University Hospital.

At the waiting bay, the always chatty doctor was full of life though she struggled with breathing, coughing and other symptoms of cold.

She even teased her tensed siblings to “cry as though I’m dead”, promising to get out of the hospital alive to care for her twin children. The results of her Covid-19 test returned more than expected – she had Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), a condition the family was unaware she had.

She got worse gradually and was taken to High Dependency Unit before being discharged a day later for isolation. She would later on the same day be moved to the ICU where died.

Actor Charles Bukeko

Charles Bukeko, better known by his stage name Papa Shirandula, succumbed to the virus last month aged 58.

His wife, Beatrice Andega, told mourners during his burial in Funyula, Busia County, that Bukeko was away from home for three weeks, working day on a new project in the city.

The thespian returned home on a Sunday and started complaining he was feeling like his body was freezing, even when in a warm place.

Andega advised him to seek a Covid-19 test and also be tested for pneumonia and malaria the following day.

The test for the virus at Karen Hospital returned positive on a Wednesday the following week but his condition grew worse, passing a way on Saturday. The wife claimed the hospital did not test for malaria and pneumonia, accusing the facility of negligence.

Prof Maurice Mang’oli

Maurice Kizito Mang’oli, the mechanical engineering professor at the University of Nairobi succumbed to the virus at The Nairobi Hospital last month.

The 67-year-old don was eulogised as distinguished scholar whose towering figure left indelible footprints in many buildings in the city.

Mang’oli is credited for being the consultant engineer who oversaw the construction of the 13-storey City Hall Annex in 1980.

He had taught at the University of Nairobi for 35 years. 

He was an alumnus of Friends School Kamusinga and the University of Nairobi where he graduated with a first-class honours degree in Bachelor of Science (Electrical Engineering). He studied under a City Council scholarship. 

Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati eulogised the professor as “a seasoned teacher, a well-travelled scholar and an expert engineer who has his name and handprint on several building projects dotting the city”. 

“As a county, we have borne the brunt of Covid-19 pandemic that continues to ravage the country. As we mourn our gallant kinsmen being felled by this disease, let us stay alert and adhere to the advice given by our medical experts,” he said.

Tony Waswa

Tony Waswa, the 48-year-old brother of Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and Westlands member of Parliament Timothy Wanyonyi, died suddenly of the virus in May. He was his brother Wanyonyi’s personal assistant for seven years.

He breathed his last at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi after being admitted in the facility for a week.

At the burial on May 20 at Mukhweya village, Bungoma county, Wanyonyi said he was together with his brother on May 9, distributing food to needy families in the constituency and had scheduled to do more the following day. However, this never was as Waswa would not emerge, telling him that he was unwell.

On May 11, Waswa was rushed to Ngara Medical Centre and later moved to The Aga Khan for specialised attention as his health deteriorated. Four days later, he breathed his last.

Isaac Cherogony

The husband of Baringo Woman Representative Gladwel Cheruiyot died of the virus at an Eldoret hospital on July 4.

Not much is known about Cherogony but tests showed that the Woman Representative tested negative.