COVID-19 Patient Laments Psychological Torture, Demands Ksh25M Compensation

July 13, 2020

A businessman from Isiolo county who recovered from COVID-19 is demanding Ksh25 million from the county government, citing loss of business after health workers at Garbatula Hospital shared his photos and biodata on social media platforms.

Osman Shariff, 62, operates a wholesale shop in Garbatula Town and also owns a number of buses that ply the Garbatula-Maua route.

Speaking to journalists in Isiolo town, Mr Shariff said clients have shied away from both his businesses leading to massive losses. He also lamented stigmatization and immense psychological torture despite being fully recovered and having two subsequent negative tests.

Shariff narrated that he could not get accommodation at a hotel due to his health status, with the hotel staff claiming it was fully booked out of fear that they would contract the virus from him.

He added that his daughter Rahma was apparently almost beaten to death in Maua town by a mob that claimed she belongs to a ‘sick family that had coronavirus’.

He said she was rescued by a friend who took her back to Isiolo.

At the same time, Shariff urged members of the public to refrain from subjecting those who contract coronavirus to psychological torture and stigma, saying the virus can catch anyone.

Isiolo County Governor Mohamed Kuti acknowledged that sharing of Shariff’s personal details had caused the businessman and his family emotional torture but pleaded for forgiveness.

He also cautioned hospital staff and members of public against exposing details of patients to the public.

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