By DAILY NATION
A group of eight fake mourners bought a coffin, strapped it onto the roof of a car, and hired a driver to take them from Nairobi to Homa Bay to escape the coronavirus containment measures in the city.
Along the way, they told police at roadblocks that they were transporting a body for a funeral and they were quickly waved through. They had a fake burial permit from Mama Lucy Hospital in Nairobi.
They lied their way through the 380 kilometres from the city to the small town on the shores of Lake Victoria on Tuesday last week, but when villagers saw the coffin strapped on their car, they gathered to mourn with them.
However, neighbours got curious and demanded to see the body. Then hell broke loose and they alerted police.
Coronavirus tests on them returned a positive result for the driver, and now the rest are in quarantine as detectives track and trace people who might have come into contact with them from Nairobi to Homa Bay.
The irrationality of the fake mourners illustrates a growing level of indiscipline that is putting the lives of millions of Kenyans at risk of contracting coronavirus.
Apart from faking deaths, others are bribing government officials to escape from quarantine facilities, faking emergencies to avoid curfews or break travel restrictions, and marketing all manner of bogus concoctions as cures for Covid-19, the disease caused by the virulent coronavirus technically known as SARs-Cov-2.
That irrationality is spreading the disease and putting the lives of about 28,000 at risk, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced Saturday, signalling how missteps by the population could plunge the country into medical anarchy in the coming weeks.
Mr Kagwe, who spoke on behalf of the National Emergency Response Committee, said the country has now gone into red alert mode as infections rise steadily.
He announced an additional 16 positive cases, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 262. “We could lose as many as 28,000 Kenyans unless we start taking safety measures seriously,” warned Mr Kagwe.
“This is not a time for cat-and-mouse games. The number of deaths that will be recorded will depend on our level of discipline. By now, you should have noticed that the higher the samples the higher the number of new cases. This speaks both to the urgency to test as many Kenyans as possible, and for every Kenyan to assume the next one is positive and therefore take precautionary measures.”
Of the new positive cases, 15 are Kenyans and one a foreigner.
Twelve are males and four females aged between 23 and 84.