A Catholic priest from Kitui County, who returned to the country on Monday, March 23 was on Tuesday night spotted at a supermarket in Kitui town before visiting an ATM machine in the same area.
Local residents were forced to alert police who on Wednesday visited the home of the clergyman, Fr. Nicholas Maanzo, who had been on a study tour in Italy, now the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to Kitui Central Sub-county DCI boss Nzioka Singi, the priest returned to Kenya from Italy through Ireland and was advised at the airport to self isolate himself for 14 days but was on Tuesday night spotted at the Barclays Bank ATM and Magunas supermarket, raising anxiety among the locals familiar with him.
On Wednesday, the police boss, who was accompanied by Kitui County health officers, went to the priest’s home at Kihara village where they are said to have only reprimanded him before demanding that he remains on self quarantine.
According to Mr. Singi, the priest did not show any signs of illness, adding that he admitted his mistake and apologised for the risk he had posed.
The priest claimed he left his house since he did not have any food.
“We visited him to establish why he flouted the self quarantine rules. He has explained that he did not have any food and therefore ventured out to look for food,” said Singi.
“You are just lucky that you do not show any signs of illness. Health officers have confirmed that your temperature is okay and you do not seem to be ill. But you must know that you committed a serious mistake by leaving your home to go to town,” Singi told the priest.
This comes as the latest reckless incident of a clergyman flouting the self-quarantine directive. In Siaya County, a Rome-based Catholic priest returned to the country and went ahead to lead mass during a burial in Ugunja, Siaya County.
It has since emerged that Father Richard Onyango Oduor, is among the confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, with the government now left to trace all those who came into contact with the man of the cloth.