Grace Aduor looks strong on the outside.
But deep in her heart she is crushing with many questions regarding the deaths of her parents.
The 21-year-old student at Maseno University was the first to be admitted to St Consolata Hospital in Kajulu village, Kisumu East sub-county on March 13.
Days later, her mother, Mary Onyango, was admitted to the same hospital. Her father, Isaac Onyango, followed suit. Soon, they were all in hospital.
Both mother and daughter were discharged but Ms Aduor’s father was still under observation in hospital. Little did she know her mother’s end was near.
“I remember it was on a Sunday; in fact she asked me to make her tea while going to the toilet. Unfortunately, she collapsed in the latrine. She died on the way to the hospital,” recalls Ms Aduor.
Just three days after her mother’s death, Ms Aduor’s father’s condition worsened, and he died in hospital.
“At St Consolata Hospital the doctors said my parents had malaria but their sudden deaths were questionable. I really wish I knew what killed my parents,” she says.
The family suspects the two succumbed to Covid-19, even though Ms Aduor took a test which turned negative for the virus.
Life has turned upside down for the student who is pursuing a degree in Special and Inclusive Education.
“Losing two parents in a span of one week is very traumatic. The way people talk outside here really hurts; they just don’t know what I go through,” says Ms Aduor.
Being the only biological child in the family, she has become the breadwinner to her adopted sister.
Just a kilometre away, George Omondi is mourning his 70-year-old father, Ibrahim Omollo, who died of Covid-19 complications at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital’s isolation centre.
He had initially shown signs of improvement before his condition deteriorated.
Mr Omondi said his father developed Covid-19 symptoms and was rushed to the hospital for treatment but succumbed to the condition.
“The tests were done and came out positive. He was admitted to hospital. For some time, his condition improved and he was taken to an isolation ward but he did not make it,” said Mr Omondi.
The deceased was among patients who were captured in a recent NTV feature as they battled with the disease at an isolation centre.
The quiet village of Kajulu in Kisumu East is witnessing a surge of Covid-19 infections. The villagers have buried more than 46 people who have lost the battle with the Covid-19.
When the Nation team visited the village, locals had compiled a list of deaths that had occurred between May and June,totalling to 46 people.
Morris Odhiambo, a resident of Kajulu said he has witnessed increasing deaths in the village.
“Most deaths are attributed to Covid-19 complications. For the past two weeks we have buried four church members, some having underlying illness,” said Mr Odhiambo.
The sudden deaths have pushed the churches in the village to close temporarily to curb a further spread of the virus.
According to a June 10 Covid-19 update issued by County Health Executive Boaz Nyunya, Kisumu Central remains the epicenter of the disease, followed by Kisumu East and Kisumu West sub-counties.
Mr Odhiambo appealed to the national government to enforce a partial lockdown in Kisumu County in order to control the community spread of Covid-19.
“It is sad that most people take Covid-19 lightly in the village. The rate at which people are dying is alarming,” said Mr Odhiambo.
He asked the national government to investigate and do contact tracing of the source of Indian variant in Kisumu.
This comes as counties in the Lake region bloc continue to take the lead in community infections.
The region recorded 1,320 new cases last week, with Kisumu taking the lead with 368 new infections, followed closely by Siaya County with 197 and Busia with 196 cases.
Homa Bay registered 167 new cases, Kericho had 102 cases, Kisii had 100 cases, Migori 44, Bomet 55, Kakamega 47, Vihiga 27 and Nyamira 17.
According to the Ministry of Health, the lake region had 122 new infections on Monday, with Kisumu coming second nationally with 47 cases.
On Tuesday, Kisumu maintained the second position nationally with 66 new infections followed by Busia with 42 infections and Siaya 30. Homa Bay, Bomet, Kakamega, Nyamira, Kisii, Kericho, Vihiga, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia and Nandi, all members of the Lake region bloc, appeared in the day’s tally
On May 6, Kisumu Health department confirmed five cases of the deadly Indian variant, which were detected among workers at a fertiliser plant in Kibos.
Scores of locals living in Kajulu are casual labourers at the fertiliser plant.
The B.1.617 variant has been blamed for India’s second wave of infections that has seen the country’s cases surge to more than 20 million.
“The government should check Kibos area properly. We know that the Indian variant was detected among the foreigners. Our people could have mingled with them thus increasing the deaths in this area,” Mr Odhiambo said.
The Covid-19 pandemic has since changed Luo burial traditions.
Initially burials were observed with a lot of celebration. However, with strict guidelines issued by the county government, bodies are supposed to be buried within 48 after death.