COVID-19: Funerals in Kilifi County to be supervised by police

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi addressing the media. The governor has announced that the last COVID-19 cases have been discharged from the Jibana Isolation centre COURTESY

No funeral will be conducted in Kilifi County without the supervision of police officers.

This is according to the Kilifi county governor Amason Kingi who on Sunday gave new orders meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the county.

Kilifi County has so far recorded 11 cases of the disease.

In the new directives, the governor ordered mortuaries and funeral homes not to release bodies for burial to families that do not have a police permit.

“After the police have been notified and the body has been released, they will accompany the bereaving family and supervise the burial ceremony,” Kingi said.

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Kingi further added that families who do not store their loved ones in a funeral home will be required to notify the village chief on the death and should not conduct the burial ceremony without supervision from police officers.

The governor who was speaking at his offices in Kilifi town on Sunday evening said the new measures are meant to ensure that mourners adhere to social distancing regulations.

The governor argued that in most rural areas of Kilifi, the residents had been flouting the ban on social gatherings by attending funeral ceremonies in large numbers.

Last month, the government ordered that burial ceremonies are to be attended by a maximum of 15 family members.

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This came hot in the heels of reports that the Kilifi deputy governor Gideon Saburi who the ministry of health said had tested positive for COVID-19 had refused to self-quarantine and continued to attend funerals and wedding ceremonies across the county.

Kingi’s remarks come just a few days after more than 200 people were arrested imbibing palm wine in a den in Kilifi north sub-county flouting the ban on social gatherings and a ban on operation of bars and palm wine dens issued by the national government last month.

Last month, the county ordered the closure of all key manufacturing firms in the county.

The affected firms include all Export Process Zones (EPZ), Mombasa Cement factory, Mabati Rolling Mills and all salt processing firms within the county.

Others that have closed down include all sand harvesting, coral block cutting, and all manganese quarries.

“Please note that failure to abide by the directives aforementioned will lead to severe consequences which shall attract heavy sanctions including permanent closure of your business firms and prosecution,” the letter, read in part.