My dear brothers and sisters. Many of you have been calling to ask us about the messages in the social media. We in the parish wish to make an official statement to all our parishioners.
RE: FR. RICHARD ODUOR AND COVID-19
Fr. Richard Oduor came to Holy Family Catholic Church Utawala from Rome on Thursday 12th of March 2020. He passed through all the tests for Covid-19 at JKIA. After spending the night in the Parish house, he traveled on Friday the 13th of March to attend a funeral at Ugunja in Siaya County. The same Friday was when the first case of Covid-19 in Kenya was announced and it was someone who came from outside the country the previous week.
We asked Fr. Richard to stay at his home place in Kisumu for 14 days and self-quarantine but he insisted he wanted to come back. We allowed him back on the condition that he would self-quarantine and isolate himself for 14 days. On his arrival on Monday the 16th, we immediately took him to a room at the back of the parish compound (which was formerly a store) and isolated him there. We never allowed him to say any Mass in the Parish (Holy Family) or the outstation (St. Patrick’s, Mavoko).
On Friday, the 20th of March after some fever and vomiting, Fr. Richard was taken to Mbagathi hospital where yesterday we were informed that he tested positive for Covid-19. Unfortunately, even though we made sure that Fr. Richard was in isolation, we learned that during his period of isolation/quarantine, he had (on his own volition) visited some friends. Fr. Richard has taken responsibility for that and tried to inform those he met at this time according to the guidelines from the Ministry of Health.
Since the information about his status became known to us, and even though we had taken all precautions and avoided contact with him throughout the week, as an extra precaution, we have decided to get ourselves tested for Covid-19 tomorrow and also to quarantine ourselves for the next 14 days. Please let us pray for each other as we continue to take the necessary precautions and protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Frs. Bosco Kamau and Anthony-Mario Egbunonu
Priests serving Holy Family Catholic Church, Utawala.