CNA Staff, Apr 17, 2020 / 12:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
A Catholic priest is one of two people in Kenya to be charged with “negligently spreading an infectious disease” after authorities allege he did not comply with quarantine regulations after he traveled to the country from Italy.
Fr. Richard Onyango Oduor denied the allegations on Thursday, April 16, and is currently free after he posted bail. He will appear in court on May 2, after he spends another 14 days in quarantine.
According to Kenyan media, Fr. Oduor is based in Rome and flew to the country to preside at a relative’s burial service. At that burial service, he distributed the Eucharist, interacting with several people. According to local media reports, as many as 60 people who came into contact with Fr. Oduor reported to the hospital, but it is unclear how many of them were eventually diagnosed with COVID-19.
Fr. Oduor eventually tested positive for the virus, was hospitalized for a period of two weeks, and has since recovered. He was arrested on April 9, immediately after he was released from the hospital.
Oduor reportedly traveled throughout Kenya from March 11 through 20, and was unaware that he had been infected with the coronavirus. During this period. Oduor took busses and a plane, and celebrated several Masses.