Family of Kenyan man who died in the US from COVID-19 in distress

Deceased, Peter Juma who lived in the US for four years. [Photo courtesy]

The family of a 35-year-old Kenyan man who died in the US after contracting coronavirus is in distress.

The deceased, Peter Juma died on Saturday. He had been in the US for four years and was working as a bus driver for a New York airport-based company. He fell ill within a week and was admitted to hospital before passing on.

His parents, Bishop Elisha Juma and his wife Reverend Mary Juma of the Kenya Assemblies of God in Tudor, Mombasa are now in agony not knowing how to transport his body back to Kenya for the final sendoff.

They say they last saw their son in mid-January after spending the Christmas with them. He later returned to the US.

“He was with us since December 25 and returned to the States mid-January. We had no idea that was the last time we would see our son alive,” the deceased mother said according to the Star.

His father was taken ill and admitted in the hospital after learning that his son was infected with coronavirus.

The biggest hurdle for the family remains how the body will be shuttled back to Kenya following the suspension of all international flights by Kenyan authorities to tame the spread of COVID-19.

Another dilemma is in directives requiring all bodies of the victims to be interred soonest possible meaning, the family may have to contend with burying their son in a foreign land and will not even see his remains since international flights have been suspended.

“What we are sure of, is that we cannot travel due to the ban on international flights. We are trying to exhaust all options to see what will work. We are reaching out to the embassy to see the options they will provide,” the mother opined.

One of Peter’s sisters also lives in the US but was not able to see him while in the hospital due to social distancing directive by the State. The two lived kilometres away.