Pierre Nkurunziza, late Burundi president, died of complications from coronavirus, and not heart attack as announced by the government, a report has revealed.
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According to Daily Mail, doctors at the hospital where he was flown to before his death, disclosed that he died from the deadly virus.
The tabloid said a source at the Karusi Hospital, where Nkurunziza died, confirmed that the former president was in “respiratory distress” before his death.
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Health officials at the Kamenge University Hospital in Bujumbura told AFP, that the head of the institute of public health requested their hospital’s only ventilator and “the head of our reanimation service, ‘in the name of the presidency’ on Monday at 10am”.
Nkurunziza was flown to the hospital in Karusi, but it was “too late, he was already dead,” a medical source in Karusi was quoted as saying.
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There had been suspicions that Nkuruziza had Covid-19, after his wife was hospitalised at the end of May with the virus.
The report said a medical document seen by AFP said she had tested positive for the virus and also suffered “respiratory distress.”
Burundi announced Nkurunziza’s “unexpected” death on June 9, declaring a national week of mourning.
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The government has not announce a date for his funeral, but is marking the seven-day period of national mourning, during which it has banned music in bars, nightclubs and karaoke, a statement said Thursday.
He had reportedly felt sick on June 6, and his health worsened, leading to a cardiac arrest, from which he died in hospital, government officials had said.
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His wife, Denise, was airlifted for coronavirus treatment in Kenya on May 30, prompting some suspicion about the husband’s true cause of death.
Nkurunziza was due to leave office in August this year, after a controversial 15-year term marked by claims of repression and human rights abuses.
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It was announced on Friday that Burundi’s constitutional court has agreed that president-elect, Evariste Ndayishimiye, should be sworn in immediately after Nkurunziza’s death.
Nkurunziza took office in 2005 under a power-sharing deal, following a 12-year civil war, which left 300,000 people dead.
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His decision to run for a disputed third term in 2015 plunged the country into violence, leading to hundreds of more deaths.
Facing allegations of widespread abuses, Burundi became the first country to leave the International Criminal Court in 2017.