Burundi’s first lady airlifted to Kenya after getting Covid-19

Denise Bucumi Nkurunzinza, Burundi’s First Lady, was reportedly airlifted to Kenya for an urgent medical attention after contracting Coronavirus (Covid-19).

A report by a local daily in Rwanda, on Thursday, May 28, detailed that the wife to President Pierre Nkurunziza is admitted at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi.

Denise arrived at the hospital in a convoy of seven vehicles after being flown to Nairobi in AMREF Flying Doctors’ plane.
“The light plane too off from Bujumbura Airport at 11.25 pm. The lights at the airport were turned off. Airport workers and police were asked to clear just before the arrival of Mrs. Bucumi, who spent a total of 20 minutes on tarmac,” a source said.


The report further details that she was accompanied by three aides who also tested positive for Covid-19.

As the First Lady receives treatment in Kenya, it raises the question on how she gained entry into the country as President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Saturday, May 16, had shut borders and restricted entry of Coronavirus patients, only allowing those who tested negative.

As at Friday, May 29, Burundi had recorded 42 cases of Coronavirus, with 1 death reported.

Just like Tanzania, President Nkurunzinza has been highly criticised for taking a laid back approach in the war against Covid-19.


The country conducted elections in May 2020 amid the virus as Nkurunzinza’s party CNDD-FDD party secured victory with General Evariste Ndayishimiye poised to take over from the incumbent.

“Do not be afraid. God loves Burundi and if there are people who have tested positive, it is so that God may manifest his power in Burundi,” Evariste Ndayishimiye had stated before the elections.

Restaurants and bars also remain open in Burundi. According to a report by Aljazeera on May 14, the government also ordered a top World Health Organization (WHO) representative and three other experts to leave the country as WHO was accused of unacceptable interference in the management of coronavirus in Burundi.

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