Kisumu residents are in a panic after a Catholic priest who tested positive for Covid-19 spent several hours at a Kisumu hotel, and attended a funeral.
Fr Richard Oduor who tested positive for Covid-19, was among eight arrivals who tested positive, Heath Cs Mutahi Kagwe said on Sunday.Two hundred people have been advised to self-quarantine themselves.
Oduor travelled from Rome — the outbreak in Italy is the worst at this time — before entering Kenya on March 12 through JKIA two weeks ago.
He did not self-quarantine, as required of all incoming visitors.The interacted with hundreds of people, including children before he tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
His temperatures at JKIA were within normal range but he was still required to self-quarantine for 14 days, or check into a government isolation facility.He spent the night in the Parish House of the Holy Family Catholic Church in Utawala and the next day took a bus to Siaya and visited his parents in Nyasanda area of Ugunja.
Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga said the priest attended a relative’s funeral in Ambira area and even served the Holy Communion in a church.
County commissioner Michael Tialal said the priest also visited a priest friend in Sega.
Father Oduor has taken responsibility for his actions and is informing the authorities of all the people he met, the parish said.
Commissioner Tialal said health officers are following his movements, advising about 200 people who interacted with the priest to quarantine themselves.
Fr Oduor visited the hotel after he attended a funeral in Ugunja, Siaya county, on Saturday, March 2. The staff, two men and two women, who were in contact with Oduor have been directed by the hotel to self-quarantine.
The priest arrived at the hotel at 3 pm left past 4 pm. He was with the sister (nun) whose mother he had gone to bury, and four other people.
The deceased was the mother of one of the staff at the hotel. More than 10 staff members attended the funeral.
Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and county commissioner Waweru warned residents they risk arrest and prosecution if they fail to adhere to orders to prevent the spread of the virus.
Two foreigners have been arrested for lack of valid travel documents and failure to go for mandatory self-quarantine.
Among the safety measures is to decongest the Kisumu Bus Park and relocate it.
Governor Rasanga asked all those who were in contact with the priest to present themselves to health facilities.
He said they have enough isolation rooms in the county referral hospital and Bondo hospital.