Kenyan Catholic priest charged for spreading Coronavirus

Theodora Aidoo Apr 17, 2020 at 12:00pm

April 17, 2020 at 12:00 pm | News

Theodora Aidoo

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

April 17, 2020 at 12:00 pm | News

Pic Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

A Kenyan Catholic priest, Richard Onyango Oduor, has been charged in court for spreading the coronavirus. He was charged with having “negligently spread an infectious disease” after authorities said he failed to adhere to coronavirus quarantine rules following a visit to Italy.

He denied the charges in a Nairobi court and was released on a 150,000 Kenyan shilling ($1,415) bond. He was, however, ordered to spend another 14 days in quarantine and return to court on May 2.

Archbishop Anthony Muheria, who is in charge of the Catholic dioceses of Nyeri and Kitui, told Reuters he could not comment on the case. He said it was up to the authorities to determine whether the priest was at fault.

Oduor is the second person to face such charges in the country. Last week, a Kenyan court also charged a senior regional government official with willfully spreading the novel coronavirus by going out in public without taking precautions.

The Deputy Governor of the coastal region of Kilifi County, Gideon Saburi, was arrested after completing a 14-day government-enforced quarantine after the health ministry said he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

He also denied the charges and was freed on bond while being ordered to self-quarantine.

Kenya has banned all public gatherings, limited the number of mourners at funerals, imposed a daily curfew and restricted movement in and out of four regions.

Citizens are reportedly holding parties in their houses and parks due to bar closures. A lawmaker was arrested for holding a party at a restaurant in the capital on Easter weekend.

The country has recorded 234 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 11 deaths so far.

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