The business community in Thika has been left frustrated following frequent harambees to foot huge hospital bills and burial expenses of colleagues and friends who have succumbed to Covid-19 in the area.
They said hardly a week passes before they are forced to chip in to contribute millions of shillings to bury their departed colleagues after succumbing to the virus.
Led by Samson Njau, they complained that they have been forced to contribute over Sh7million in the past one week to friends from the area who have succumbed to Covid-19.
One of their colleagues who succumbed to Covid-19 this week at Kenyatta Teaching and Referral Hospital was an entrepreneur in the education sector, who left Sh1.5 million bill.
Another was a Thika businessman from the neighbouring Gatanga, Murang’a County, who left Sh2 million bill after succumbing to Covid-19.
The other succumbed at a Thika hospital last week, having spent close to a month with Covid-19 complications, leaving Sh3.5 million bill.
“It is now becoming unbearable, having to contribute such huge amounts to have our friends released for burial. The frequency in which this is happening is draining us financially and emotionally. Just that we cannot abandon our friends’ families during this time,” he said.
Kuria Mwaura, another businessman called on parliament to come up with legislation to have bills of patients who succumb while undergoing Covid-19 treatment waived by the state.
They said it is no longer affordable to fundraise for their colleagues given the huge bills involved.
“Hospital bills for Covid-19 has become unaffordable. We should only be allowed to fundraise for burial expenses. The legislation should be urgent to save families from financial and emotional depression,” he said.
They at the same time raised concern over the sluggish manner in which Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines were being enforced saying it has led to a spike in cases especially in Kiambu County.
“Covid-19 has snatched many of our colleagues in the business industry. It makes us upset to see people flouting the Covid-19 guidelines in matatus, restaurants, meetings should be regulated to minimize incidences because we shall be called to contribute in these harambees,” said
By Muoki Charles