A Catholic priest in Kitui who returned from Italy on Monday but flouted government order to self-quarantine was on Thursday reprimanded by police officers.
Kitui Central Sub-County DCI boss Nzioka Singi, who was accompanied by Kitui County health officers, visited Fr. Nicholas Maanzo after getting a tip-off that he was seen in Kitui town on Tuesday night.
“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 suffer from illness. But you must know that you committed a serious mistake by leaving your home to go to town,” Singi told the priest.
The priest, who returned from a study tour in Italy, now the epicenter of the COVID-19, admitted his mistake and apologized for sneaking out on Tuesday night and visiting an ATM machine and a supermarket in Kitui town.
“I caution you not to venture out again until 14 days lapse. By going out on Tuesday night you could have exposed many people should it emerge that you are sick. We are hoping that you are not sick, otherwise you will be arrested and charged in court,” said Singi.
Singa told reporters outside Fr. Maanzo’s residence at Kihara village in the outskirts of Kitui town that members of the public saw the priest in town and raised the alarm.
He said the priest’s appearance in public caused a lot of anxiety.
The detective said when the priest returned to Kenya from Italy through Ireland on March 23, he was advised at the airport to self-isolate for 14 days.
The priest was seen at an ATM outlet and later at the Magunas Supermarket.
“We visited him to establish why he flouted the self-quarantine rule. He said that he did not have any food,” he said.
The detective said that health personnel had examined the priest and were satisfied he is in good health.
He assured Kitui residents that the priest was in sound health and had promised not to leave his residence again, until the lapse of the 14 days of self-isolation.