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Isiolo trader wants Sh25m for stigma over Covid-19

A Covid-19 patient in Isiolo has threatened to sue for damages after his  personal information was leaked to public without his consent.

Osman Shariff, 62, was the first confirmed case for Covid-19 in the county.

Shariff said he faced stigma and massive losses in his businesses after health workers at the Garbatula Hospital, where he was isolated, reportedly took photos of him and shared his biodata on social media platforms.

“I have resolved to seek court arbitration with a view to obtain compensation from the county government who are employers of the health workers,” he said. He spoke to the press in Isiolo town.

He has instructed his lawyers to institute a court suit demanding damages amounting to Sh25 million.

Governor Mohamed Kuti had earlier condemned the sharing of Shariff’s photo, full names and ID number on social media platforms, noting that it had caused him and his family emotional torture.

He pleaded with Shariff and his family to forgive the health workers and cautioned hospital staff and members of the public against revealing details of patients in future.

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Kuti said he sympathised with Shariff’s family and was obliged to apologise on behalf of the county government.

“I am now out of the hospital after recovering fully and testing negative twice for the virus but I’m undergoing immense psychological torture. Members of public keep running away from me and my businesses have now grounded,” he said.

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

He said  his family members have not been spared, claiming his daughter recently received a near death beating by members of public at Maua town and was only rescued by a friend who took her back to Isiolo.

Her assaulters accused her of belonging to a ‘sick family that had corona virus’.

Shariff lamented that passengers have shunned his vehicles while shop owners who buy goods from his wholesale shop are accused of having supplies from a person suffering from coronavirus.

He further said that he is told rooms are fully booked as lodging workers fear they could contract the virus from him.


Shariff also pleaded with members of public to desist from subjecting victims of the virus to further torture, adding that it was a viral disease that can infect anyone.

About Whispers from the North

Whispers from the North is an online platform that appreciates the ecological, cultural and socio-economic diversities of Northern Kenya. We also acknowledge that the lives of the communities of northern Kenya has been shaped by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which have led to complex challenge that calls for a multifaceted approach.

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