ACDP MP Steve Swart, who was one of 39 people who tested positive for coronavirus after attending a prayer conference in Bloemfontein three weeks ago, this week shared his experience with Covid-19 “to help others at this time”.
He writes: “I have been asked to share my experience with COVID-19 to help others at this time.
“This I do this with a deeply grateful heart – to all who have prayed for us and sent messages of support – and to Father God who has carried us through this storm and has healed us. To Him be all glory, honour and praise!
“I started to experience flu-like symptons – coughing, sneezing, high temperature from Sat 14 March – which progressively got worse.
“My wife had similar symptons, though not as bad as me. We self-isolated ourselves – and heard that visitors we had been in contact with at a prayer conference in Bloemfontein the previous week had tested positive for the Corona virus.
“My daughter, Siobhan, picked it up from us at home, despite trying to isolate her from us as far as possible.
“Health authorities told us to monitor our health, to continue self medicating (we were taking Vitamin C, Zinc, paracetamol), and if we felt worse, then to be tested. Our symptons by then were moderate.
“We monitored ourselves very closely as both my wife and I have had respiratory illnesses. Thankfully, we were able to keep the infection away from our lungs. Vicks is very good to clear nasal passages!
“We also took Communion every day and proclaimed healing scriptures.
“We were extremely tired as our bodies fought the virus – and had to rest a lot.
“On Sunday 22 March, media reports erroneously stated that #ACDP President Rev Kenneth Meshoe, Angus Buchan and I had tested positive. We had not even been tested at that stage.
“I decided to be tested the following Monday, although I was feeling better – this due largely to speculation and wrong media reporting.
“The test result came out positive – which was not a surprise as we were pretty sure that we had the virus.
“We are now fully recovered – day 16 after our first symptons – but are still being closely monitored. We are deeply grateful for all the love, support, and prayers we have received from so many dear friends.
“We are grateful to the medical staff and doctors in the public and private sectors, particularly the doctors from Western Cape Department of Health, who are in daily contact with us.
“Let’s keep praying for all our medical staff, doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, EMS who are on the frontline of fighting this pandemic, as well as for their families.
“It is also imperative to abide by governmental regulations pertaining to the lock-down at this time to contain the further spread of the virus. Don’t take any chances – self-isolate further if necessary!
“However, many people may pick up the virus – most will hopefully fully recover! It can, however, very quickly get worse if it gets into your lungs. Any symptons must be closely monitored, and medical advice must be sought, particularly if you have a history of respiratory disease.
“That being said, and having taken precautions and medication, we have stood on Psalm 91 and other scriptures, proclaiming them daily. We have experienced the truth that, “I am Jehovah (Ropheka) – the LORD who heals you!” (Ex 15 v 25).
“We have been overwhelmed by the messages of love and support from our #ACDP leadership and colleagues, including Rev Kenneth Meshoe, Wayne Thring, Marie Sukers, and so many other staff members, parliamentarians and political leaders across political parties, as well as from so many other dear friends and family. Thanks also to Josh and Nath for your love at this time and daily calls. We love you all!
“Hope this is an encouragement to you, and feel free to share.
Pastor Elisée Yao, of Divine Restoration Ministries church in Bloemfontein, said today that 38 of the 39 people who tested positive for Covid-19 after attending the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast that was hosted at his church on March 10 and 11, are all fit and well now. One of them is in ICU but is responding well to treatment.
Testing of attendees at the event and of members of the church was speedily implemented after five overseas attendees tested positive for the virus after a regulation was introduced requiring international visitors to be tested before leaving SA. ACDP leader Rev Kenneth Meshoe and farmer-evangelist Angus Buchan were among the 39 attendees who tested positive.
Sadly it seems likely that an elderly pastor, John Hlangeni, 86, who died at Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein on Monday, while under treatment for coronavirus, was an indirect casualty of the spreading of the virus from the prayer conference. Pastor Mohau Rammile, senior pastor of Global Reconciliation Church, where Hlangeni served, was among those who tested positive for coronavirus after attending the prayer event.
Hlangeni, who became the first person to die of coronavirus in the Free State, had underlying health issues, said Free State Health spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, reports OFM. He said the pastor’s wife is in a stable condition in hospital and that the department cannot at this stage reveal whether she tested positive for the virus or not, but her results will be announced in accordance with proper procedure.
Free State Health MEC Montseng Tsiu has sent her condolences to the Hlangeni family, relatives and the Global Reconciliation Church.
“My condolences and I wish strength to the family and everyone associated with Ntate Hlangeni who is revered for having planted many churches in his lifetime. We wish his loved ones strength and courage during these trying times,” said Tsiu.