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Coronavirus: Govt tracing over 50 people who came into contact with Kitui priest

By Amina Wako March 31st, 2020 2 min read

The government is currently tracing more than 50 people who came into contact with a Catholic priest who has since tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The priest, Nicholas Maanzo, who had been on a year-long study tour in the Italian capital of Rome traveled back to the country last week but failed to isolate himself as had been directed by the government.

Maanzo was rushed to the isolation center at Mbagathi Hospital after exhibiting coronavirus-like symptoms including breathing difficulties.

His family had complained to the authorities that their kin was not observing the mandatory quarantine guidelines as he would occasionally sneak out of his house in the evening to spend time with village folks thus endangering their lives.

Among those being sought for testing include Boda Boda operators, the staff at Magunas Supermarket in Kitui where he shopped and an unknown number of people who visited the local Absa Bank ATM where the priest withdrew cash on the evening of Tuesday, March 24.

His relatives, neighbors and Catholic nuns at the Kwa-Ngindu Sisters of Good Shepherd are also being sought for testing having interacted with the priest over the week after his return to the country.

This number may go up if journalists who accompanied a team of police and health officials who raided the priest’s home on Wednesday, March 25 are deemed to have been exposed too.

The priest is among 50 people who tested positive and from the information released by the government since the first case was reported on March 13, there are also ten foreign nationals among those in the list of Covid-19 patients.

Out of the ten, two are French nationals, two Congolese, a Mexican, a Chinese, a Burundian, a Cameroonian and a Burkina Faso nationals.

The government earlier said one patient was an American but Health CS Mutahi Kagwe later clarified that he had just traveled from the US but he was not an American.

The CS is yet to give the correct nationality of the said patient.