On Thursday evening, Kenya confirmed its first Coronavirus death after a little-known 66-year-old businessman since identified as Maurice Khisa Namiinda sadly passed on at the Agha Khan Hospital in Nairobi.
Reports say that the founder and director of Gibb Consulting Engineers Ltd – a company understood to have previously worked with major government authorities and parastatals such as Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) – flew into the country on Wednesday last week and soon after checked into a hospital for what close family says was “a couple of routine checks”.
According to doctors familiar with the case, the engineer had a history of diabetes that required medical attention from time to time. Although he had passed all preliminary checks at the various airports he flew through on his way to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the symptoms soon started to present. His condition would soon begin to deteriorate and he was taken to the ICU until his passing late this week.
Those who knew him say he was generous to a fault, always jovial.
Maurice Khisa goes down as the first Kenyan to die from the virus that currently affects more than 30 other patients.
A story by the Saturday Standard confirmed that three other Coronavirus patients in different hospitals in the country are also on life support. Doctors, however, describe the conditions of the others as stable.
Currently, different government agencies are tracing people who might have come in contact with the patient. Evidence from countries with a higher death toll shows many of those who die with the virus are infected weeks before any government-led interventions such as quarantine and self-isolation were put into place.
Research shows coronavirus is particularly dangerous to older adults and people with chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart and lung diseases.
The first published piece of research into the coronavirus (Covid-19) involved a small number of people and it showed that 19 percent of those who died in hospital after developing the condition also had diabetes.
The Chinese study was carried out at two hospitals in Wuhan – the epicenter of the outbreak – and only involved 191 people, of whom 137 were discharged and 54 died.
Further analysis showed that 48 percent of those people had presence of one or more additional conditions, with hypertension being the most common health complaint (30 percent), followed by diabetes (19 percent) and then coronary heart disease (8 percent).