Frankline Ndifor, a 39-year-old pastor in Cameroon, who reportedly laid his hands on dozens of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 sufferers to “cure” them, has died of the virus.
According to Voice of America, Ndifor died on Saturday and was buried in front of his residence by workers of the country’s COVID-19 response team in Douala.
It was gathered that weeks before his death, several people — including church members — suspected to have contracted the disease had thronged Kingship International Ministries Church, which was founded by the deceased, for prayers.
The clergyman, who contested for the country’s presidential election in 2018, was said to have laid hands on them while praying for their healing.
This is despite warning by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that people should distance themselves from unscientific claims suggesting cure for the virus.
Ndifor was, however, said to have subsequently taken ill with respiratory difficulties after contracting the disease.
Gaelle Nnanga, the medical doctor, who was called to treat the self-acclaimed pastor, said Ndifor died less than a week after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
It was gathered that shortly after he died, his supporters who mostly called him “prophet”, had chased the medical team away, claiming he was on a spiritual retreat with God and should not be buried.
His death was also said to have sparked fears among several of his followers and those who had recently contacted him for divine cure from the novel disease.
Rigobert Che, one of the deceased’s follower, said he visited the late cleric last Wednesday alongside others who suspected they had the virus.
“This is a pastor that has been laying hands [on the sick] and claiming that he cures COVID-19,” the media outlet quoted him to have said.
“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.”
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