File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Fifth nun dies of Covid-19 at Eastern Cape convent

By IOL reporter Time of article published Jun 17, 2020

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Mthatha - After four nuns died within the space of a week of Covid-19 at the Mother House Convent in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, another nun has succumbed to the virus.

The four nuns who died at the convent, which also serves as an old-age home, last week were all older than 66, while 17 people in the community have tested positive. A total of 15 people have tested negative, including a 102-year-old nun, and three are still waiting for their test results.

The head of the Mother House Convent, Missionary Sister Nokwanda Bam, of the congregation of the Precious Blood Sisters, who has also tested positive, said a fifth nun died on Wednesday morning, EWN reported.

Commenting on a bell that rang through the convent today, Bam said: "It is telling all the other sisters that we have a death, so all the sisters in the rooms will pray for the sister's soul.

"Our rooms are not yet fumigated, the dining room is not yet fumigated, so we have these challenges that still need to be addressed – fumigation, nurses to look after the sisters who are Covid-19 positive, these are our pressing challenges."

Last week, Bam told DispatchLIVE it all began with the infection of a nun who works as a nurse at Life St Mary’s Hospital in Mthatha.

“After being discovered to be infected on June 2, she was fetched by the authorities of the hospital and taken to a B&B for quarantine in Mthatha. 

"After her, other members of the community were also discovered to be infected, resulting in four of them, all of them elderly, succumbing to the virus last week. In the meantime, it has been discovered that more sisters are infected, young and old."

Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, of the Roman Catholic Church Mthatha Diocese, told the SABC: “We are all distraught about this. This came as a big shock to us all. I have never seen something like this. 

"This happened in a vulnerable place where there are elderly people as the house also serves as an old-age home. It attacked old people who were doing missionary work.”


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