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05/22/2020 Cameroon (VOA News) – A popular pastor in cameroon who called himself a prophet and faith healer, died at the age of 39 on Saturday May 16th 2020 at his residence in Bonaberi, Douala, Cameroon. Many of this pastor’s followers who had contracted the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, had come to him for healing. He then declared them healed. Now, many of this churches followers are worried that there might be many others who are diagnosed with the virus since he came into contact with them. After discovering that his situation was not getting better, Franklin Ndifor called the Regional Delegate of Public Health to refer him to a medical doctor. When the medical team arrived, Ndifor was having severe respiratory difficulties, he died less than 10 minutes after they treated him.

One of his followers called Rigobert Che says the following, “This is a pastor that has been laying hands [on the sick] and claiming that he cures COVID-19, if you, the person that claims that you are curing COVID-19, you are dead, what about the fellow people that were affected by the COVID-19? Now that he is dead, I do not know how the people that he was laying hands on will be healed.”

Family members and Christians of his church did not welcome the news after his death was announced. They told the government that Ndifor was on a retreat with God and would return soon. They also asked that the corpse be allowed for 48 hours and if he doesn’t resurrect then he can be buried. Government forces were then forced to use tear gas to disperse the crowd. The administration and health authorities ordered that he should be buried immediately since it was suspected that he might have died of COVID-19. At 7:30 pm, the corpse was taken forcefully and was finally buried at the cemetery in Bonaberi.

These kinds of incidents are becoming more common globally as members of churches seek to resume their normal lives. The governments in certain countries have started to crackdown on religious gatherings in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. It is recommended by most health organizations that people should continue to follow social distancing guidelines and seek proper medical attention if they come into contact with an infected person.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].