A pastor’s wife, the first person to be diagnosed with the coronavirus in the Northern Cape, says the pandemic is a warning to everyone.
Her husband has also tested positive.
Berna Kruger (43) confirmed to YOU that she and her husband, Henk, of the Light the World Ministries in Hartswater, Northern Cape, had tested positive on Friday, 20 March. They’d attended the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast at a Bloemfontein church on 10 and 11 March.
Berna says she and Henk didn’t immediately experience any symptoms.
“At first, it felt like a typical flu to me,” she said from quarantine in the family’s home in Hartswater.
“I’m feeling much better now than I did last week! But remember God knows everything. He is in charge.”
Berna said they got back home on Thursday, 12 March, but that she only started feeling unwell on Tuesday, 17 March.
“I had a bad fever and my body was very sore,” said Berna, who never thought it would be because of the coronavirus. “I just went to bed.”
Berna said Henk also started feeling ill – but it was only when they got a call informing them that five of the foreign speakers at the rally had tested positive that they were officially tested and immediately quarantined on Friday, 20 March.
Henk was tested along with Berna, but his results were lost. It was later found, and on Tuesday they heard that he, too, was positive.
The couple’s four teenage daughters have also been tested, but their results aren’t known yet.
“We all have symptoms, but we’re still okay.”
She said her fever broke on Thursday, 19 March, but this past Sunday – 22 March – she started having dry cough symptoms.
“I now feel weak and I have no energy. Almost like when you have malaria.”
Berna said as soon as she and Henk learnt about their possible exposure to the virus, they cooperated fully with the health department.
“We made a list of everyone we had contact with and they were all followed up and tested. Everyone should cooperate.”
She also said that the church where the gathering took place acted responsibly and took the trouble to make sure people were tested. The couple are very grateful for this.
Don’t fear the virus
“We’re confident that everything will turn out okay. More than 80% of people recover fully. I hear how people are going crazy about the virus, but nobody fears eternity without God in the same way?
“I’m not afraid of death. I regard it as my ticket to go straight to Jesus and I’m excited about going to Jesus. It breaks my heart that people are this scared of the disease, but not of sin.
“People should fear Hell more. I think this is a reality check for the whole world about the end times and that our creator is on the way. Now is the time to set things right with Him.”
Berna’s advice to people around the country is to spend quality time with their families and God.
“People should use the time with Jesus, read the Bible, and learn more about our creator. Even though this virus has hit our country, no one can take away our peace.”
She believes people should also enjoy and appreciate having time to spend with their families.
“Spend time with your family, make the most of this opportunity. Everyone at home should put away their phones."
Minister’s urgent call
At a media conference in Pretoria on Wednesday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize appealed to everyone who attended this event at the Divine Restoration Ministries to urgently contact the Free State health department, so they can be tested for the coronavirus.
He referred specifically to the Bloemfontein rally and cautioned people who did not heed the call. He said the department would be compelled to publish their names to ensure that they came forward to be tested.
A representative of the church referred YOU to the health department for official comment.
Mondli Mvambi, spokesperson for the department in the Free State, confirmed to YOU that a total of 360 people had reported on 21 and 22 March to be scanned for symptoms.
They included mostly people who had attended the rally or had been in contact with people who had. A total of 39 people, who displayed preliminary symptoms, were officially tested for Covid-19.
"It’s not our intention to damage the image of the church or stigmatise it. The virus can hit any place or person. We appreciate the cooperation the church has given us so far.
"Covid-19 isn’t a death sentence, but we have a responsibility to test everyone who was there or had contact with those who were there. People can report to their nearest community clinic - all they have to do is be open and make it known that they might have been in contact with someone with the virus. We all have to work together to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread any further.”
The minister confirmed to the media on Wednesday that two people from the Northern Cape, linked to the church rally in Bloemfontein, had tested positive for Covid-19. In total, at the time of publication, the city had 18 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
Angus Buchan, who also was a speaker at the event, confirmed in his last post on Facebook on Tuesday that he and his wife, Jill, had tested positive.
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