Osman Shariff who was the first COVID-19 patient in Isiolo demands Ksh.25M compensation

Osman Shariff who was the first COVID-19 patient in Isiolo demands Ksh.25M compensation
Osman Shariff

Osman Shariff, the first COVID- 19 patient in Isiolo, is demanding damages amounting to Ksh. 25million from the County Government for his woes.

The 62-year-old man bemoaned immense stigma and massive business losses after health workers posted pictures of him on social media.

According to him, medics at the Garbatula Hospital where he in isolation took photos of him and shared his biodata on social media platforms.

He is seeking compensation from the County Government who are the employers of the said health workers.

Speaking to journalists in Isiolo town, Shariff said he has fully recovered from COVID-19 and had two subsequent negative tests.

However, he revealed that he is still undergoing immense psychological torture as a result of the sharing of his personal details on social media.

He said members of public are avoiding him and his businesses have now grounded to a halt.

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

He lamented that passengers have shunned his vehicles during market days while shop owners who buy goods from his wholesale shop are also stigmatized for conducting business with him.

He further intimated that at one time he travelled to Isiolo town and when he sought to book a room at a lodging, he was told that the rooms were fully booked.

It was however clear to him that the workers at the establishment feared that they would contract the dreaded virus from him.

His family members have not been spared as well: his daughter Rahma was apparently almost beaten to death in Maua town after she was accused of belonging to a ‘sick family that had coronavirus’.

She was reportedly rescued from the mob by a friend who took her back to Isiolo.

On Sunday, Shariff pleaded with members of public to desist from subjecting those who contract coronavirus to psychological torture as it is a viral disease that can catch anyone.

Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti had earlier condemned the sharing of Shariff’s photo and biodata including full names and ID Number on social media platforms.

He acknowledged that it had caused Shariff and his family emotional torture but pleaded for forgiveness.

Kuti said that as head of the County government administration, he sympathised with Shariff’s family and was obliged to apologize on behalf of the county government.

The Governor further cautioned hospital staff and members of public against revealing details of patients in future.

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Story By Moses Mwenda
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