KENYA: Priest Arrested for Failing to Self-quarantine Over Covid-19

NAIROBI, APRIL 10, 2020 (CISA)-Fr Richard Oduor was on April 9 arrested and will spend four days in police custody pending his arraignment on charges of defying government’s order to self-quarantine after he travelled from Italy, one of countries worst hit by Covid-19.

“He will be taken to court on Tuesday [April 14] to face the charges of failing to adhere to the regulations,” Nairobi police boss said March 9.

Police officers arrested Fr Oduor at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Nairobi and taken to Kilimani Police Station soon after he was discharged from quarantine following his alleged recovery from Covid-19.

Fr Richard Oduor who is from Ugunja Parish in the Archdiocese of Kisumu, Kenya is an incardinated priest of the Catholic Diocese of Torit, South Sudan.  He was studying in Rome and had received permission from his ordinary to travel home for a short break and to attend the installation of the new Archbishop of Juba.

He arrived in Kenya from Rome on March 12 and went through all the tests for Covid-19 at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).  He spent the night in Utawala Parish in Nairobi and on March 13 travelled home spending a night in Kisumu at a guesthouse owned by a local sister’s congregation before proceeding to Ugunja in Siaya County.  During his time at home, he visited with a few friends, celebrated some masses in Sega Parish and attended a funeral.

He arrived back in Nairobi on March 16. On March 20 after a mild illness, he went to a hospital where upon learning that he had recently travelled, the doctor refeered him to Mbangathi Hospital to get tested for Covid 19.  At Mbagathi he was immeadiately put into quarantine and his test results came back positive for Covid-19.

The government traced the people he interacted with while in Kenya from the time he arrived in Kenya to the time he was admitted into quarantine and put them on self-quarantine. All of his contacts turned negative of Covid-19.

As at April 10, Kenya has 189 positive cases of Covid-19.