Catholic priest under quarantine after denying knowingly spreading Covid-19 – VIDEO
Rome-based Catholic priest Fr. Richard Onyango Oduor has been placed under 14 days mandatory quarantine at a Catholic Church facility in Kilimani in Nairobi after he denied charges of knowingly spreading Covid-19.
Oduor was accused of spreading the deadly disease on diverse dates between March 12 and 20 in different places in the country.
He pleaded not guilty before Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Nanzushi.
His lawyers led by John Were had pleaded for leniency saying he had already spend time in quarantine after his admission in hospital and has tested negative before he was discharged from hospital but Nanzushi turned down the pleas.
Nanzushi said the priest appears not to understand self-quarantine and should be placed under the quarantine he ignored.
She freed him on a Sh 500,000 bond with a surety of similar amount and an alternative cash bail of Sh 150,000. These terms will remain suspended during the quarantine period.
Fr. Oduor will also avail one contact person to guarantee his attendance to court and the guarantor must be verified by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
Fr Oduor arrived in the country from Rome on March 12 and stayed at the Utawala Catholic Parish in Nairobi until March 13, when he left for Kisumu using public means.
He checked into a guest house in Milimani in Kisumu town and proceeded to Ugenya in Siaya County the next day, and later to his parents’ home in Ambira village by public means.
The clergyman spent two nights at Sega Parish within the county before boarding a bus to Kisumu International Airport where he took a flight to Nairobi on March 16.
He then proceeded to the Utawala Parish where he stayed until March 20 before going to the clinic and then to Mbagathi.
From there, he was transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Infectious Diseases Unit, where he was admitted and tested for the virus. His positive state was confirmed the next day.
He was admitted at the facility until April 9.
Doctors at KNH did two separate tests on the priest on April 4 and 7 and found that he had recovered so he was discharged. He was handed over to the police on April 9.
Police have recorded statements from the people Fr. Oduor interacted with in different parishes and officials from the Immigration department.
The priest is the second recovered patient to be charged with spreading the disease knowingly, after Kilifi deputy governor Gideon Samburi.