To travel or not travel out of Nairobi for burial – which way now?
Health CAS, Dr Mercy Mwangangi has advised residents of Nairobi to get relevant documents through the Ministry of Interior in case they lose a loved one, and they need to travel upcountry for the burial.
According to Mwangangi one must have a death certificate and pass from the Ministry of Interior.
“Through the Ministry of Interior, get your documents which include a death certificate, and you will get a pass to enable you to travel and perform last rights,” she said.
This new development however contradicts a directive issued by the Government Spokesperson Major (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna ruling out the possibility of bereaved persons traveling out of the four counties of Nairobi, Kilifi, Kwale, and Mombasa for burial of their loved ones.
Oguna said bereaved families in Nairobi would only be allowed to bury the bodies of their loved ones in the capital.
“For anyone who might have a body to bury out of Nairobi, what that means is that that body will have to be buried here (within the counties). We cannot risk the lives of those people who are outside Nairobi. For those who will be unable to bury their loved ones in Nairobi, the government will chip in where necessary,” Oguna said.
This comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday stopped any movement in and out of Nairobi and three coastal counties, either by rail, road, and air, to contain the spread of Covid-19 to other areas not so badly affected.
On Tuesday, President Kenyatta said Kenyans with valid reasons such as doctor’s appointments in Nairobi will be allowed to travel into the capital city.
He noted that the measures taken by the government are not intended to oppress Kenyans but rather protect them from the pandemic.
The president further said he had instructed relevant authorities to ensure no one is oppressed during the 21 days of cessation of movement.
“Anyone with a very valid reason I have told government officers including the police not to oppress anyone. If, for example, it’s someone from Nyeri who has been coming to the Kenyatta National Hospital or anywhere else in Nairobi, don’t stop them from proceeding with the journey,” the president said.
“Actually such a person should be helped to come to Nairobi, see the doctor, and then they be facilitated to return home,” he added.