Passengers in a matatu on its way to Nairobi were engulfed with tears and grief after one of them died on board a Machakos-bound bus on Tuesday evening, December 15 along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, near Kibwezi township.
Passengers in the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) noticed that the 68-year-old man was motionless before they asked the driver to stop the vehicle.
“Passengers had been asking the deceased to close the window when they discovered that he was motionless,” Kibwezi Sub-county Police Commander Ben Changulo stated.
The man’s body was taken to Kibwezi Mortuary as health officials fumigated the bus.
Two similar deaths have been recorded in the last month, with one taking place along Mombasa road and the other at Mukaa near Malili town.
In the first incident, the man was believed to have died of Covid-19 related complications but his post-mortem results came back negative.
The second case was a passenger who had been ailing for a while and was on board with his sister, who allayed fears of a Covid-19 related death.
In July 2020, the Ministry of Health issued strict regulations that were designed to stop the spread of the Covid-19 in public transport.
Some of the requirements stipulated include the requirement to have hand sanitizers as well as reduced seat capacity to ensure social distancing among passengers.
Matatu operators threatened to ground their vehicles if the government did not lift Covid-19 restrictions in October but the government remained firm with its decision.
Government Spokesperson Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna urged Kenyans to avoid matatus that don’t observe social distancing.
“Usikae kwa matatu kama hakuna physical distancing (don’t board a matatu that ignores the social distancing protocols). If you contract Covid-19, you are on your own. Hatuwezi kukuprotect (we cannot protect you) the initiative has to come from you,” the government spokesperson warned.