Siaya priest reveals details of his travels since arrival

A priest who tested positive for coronavirus has been quarantined. PHOTO | EDUARDO SOTERAS | AFP

What you need to know:

  • As of last evening, 108 people who got into contact with the priest in Ugunja had been traced and put on self-isolation.

More details of Rome-based priest Richard Oduor’s movements have emerged, revealing how he mingled with various people.

In an interview with a local radio station, Fr Oduor, who tested positive for coronavirus, said he was picked up at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) upon his arrival two weeks ago and driven to Holy Family Catholic Church in Utawala, Nairobi, where he spent the night.

The priest revealed that he requested to be allowed to preside over a mass at the convent alone without anybody in attendance due to possible risk.

“It was on Friday, March 13, and in the afternoon I set out for the journey to the burial in Ugunja by road. Because I arrived late in Kisumu, I spent the night at Lwak Sisters’ Guest House in Milimani,” said the cleric.

Tracking coronavirus

The following day, on March 14, he explained that he was driven by a priest from Homa Bay diocese to the funeral venue.

He revealed that Fr Lucas, the assistant parish priest in Ugunja, presided over the ceremony. “I was a co-celebrant and did not give sacrament,” he said.

After the burial, he proceeded to his rural home, where he met his parents before he was picked up by a priest from Sega parish.

They went back to the funeral before proceeding to Sega, where he spent the night. “On Sunday, March 15, he (Fr Lucas) asked me to preside over two masses at Jera and another one at Sihai,” he said.


On Monday, March 16, he visited his sister in Ugunja after breakfast at Sega before going to bid his parents goodbye for two hours.

He boarded a public service vehicle belonging to the Transcounty Shuttle company to Kisumu.

“In Kisumu, I went directly to the airport and boarded a Jambojet flight back to Nairobi, where on arrival I was picked up and headed to Utawala where I went on self-isolation,” he said.

He spoke as tests on eight coronavirus suspected cases in Siaya turned negative.

As of last evening, 108 people who got into contact with the priest in Ugunja had been traced and put on self-isolation.

The samples of the eight suspected cases, according to Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga, were analysed at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) labs in Kisumu.


One of the contacts was admitted to Matibabu Hospital in Ukwala and the remaining seven to Siaya County Referral Hospital.

As stringent measures are scaled up to avert a disaster, some 3,478 health, police, prisons and national government administration officers have been briefed on the protocols aimed at averting further spread of the virus.

Siaya County Commissioner Michael ole Tialal decried lack of cooperation by matatu operators and boda-boda riders, whom he said had refused to adhere to preventive guidelines.

He said the boda-boda operators lack hand sanitisers and were still overloading. “They also do not observe safe distance and continue to crowd at their pick-up points,” he said.

He warned that the government will take stern action against the operators.

Mr Ole Tialal appealed to those who may have attended the Ugunja funeral on March 14 to get tested.