The message Robert Burale is passing across is simple really – don’t get yourself into buying oxygen

A video of Robert Burale in an hospital setting has been going rounds on social media. Although the video doesn’t say exactly what part of the hospital Bulare is lying, many Kenyans have interpreted it as ICU, and used that interpretation to criticise the video before arriving at the conclusion that the entire setup is faked.

For example, Enoch Cheruiyot updated on his Facebook,”Burale said during his radio interview by @MassaweJapanni that he was admitted at Nairobi Hospital, I was sorry for him & I now feel stupid after watching a video of him in ICU with a cap on.” As can be seen, this update already assumed Burale was in ICU despite Burale himself writing that he was in an isolation ward when he was tested and found to be SARS-COVID-2 positive.

“The doctor walks in to the isolation room and she says “Hello Mr Burale your results are out,” and I reply “So I can go home” ..she says, “Unfortunately you have tested positive for Covid and we have to now take you to the isolation ward”, wrote Robert Burale on July 6th 2020 at 14:53 on his Facebook Timeline.

Part of the reason Burale has been criticized is because he has his cap in the presumed ICU, something that should not be expected. A commenter on Enoch’s post also expected the Burale not to have his cap even if he was admitted in a general ward.

Over the course of coronavirus pandemic in Kenya, we have come to see some patients in Kenya’s isolation wards that seem not to be following any of those expected protocols. If you have been admitted to a Kenyan hospital, you probably have noted that it is not uncommon to be in your own clothes and use your own stuff. As Sire Edgar Kwach puts it, “I’m surprised though. You have never been admitted to hospital but you seem to know the dressing etiquette. I was in hospital for 3 months, they didn’t mind me wearing my own clothes, but the fuss is someone wearing glasses and a cap? Pray tell, does sigh improve because you’re in the vicinity of a hospital? Does the cap interfere with treatment? Lastly, please understand the difference between a High Dependency Unit and an Intensive Care Unit”.

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That said, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Burale suddenly recovers and goes back to delivering TV interviews almost immediately. If that happens, and I hope it does, the conspirators will be quick to point to Bishop Wanjiru’s case and similarly conclude that Burale’s case was just another reality TV show.

Even if we grant that Burale is performing some show for reality TV, the message he is delivery is clear really – take care of yourself. Take all necessary precautions. Wash your hands. Wear masks. Do not be in a crowded place like churches, bars and restaurants or even in public gatherings outside. Keep at least 1 metre distance between you and the closest person. Most importantly, avoid people traveling from Nairobi and Mombasa now that the two counties were opened up.


Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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