Sub-Saharan Africa, 02 April, 2020 / 8:45 am (ACI Africa).
The news of the hospitalization of the President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Phillip Cardinal Ouédraogo, with COVID-19 was received with shock across the continent, with Catholic Church leaders known to the Burkinabe Prelate expressing their solidarity in messages seen by ACI Africa.
He is the first African Cardinal known to have tested positive for the coronavirus that has infected at least 684,868 across the globe.
“The shocking news of your encounter with the notorious Corona Virus reached us. We thank God that it was discovered early enough to be dealt with,” reads in part the solidarity message of Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, the 1st Vice President of SECAM.
The South African Prelate adds referencing Bishops at the helm of SECAM, “We have informed all the Standing Committee Members and entrusted you to their prayers.”
In his April 1 solidary message, Bishop Sipuka who heads the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) assures the Cardinal “of our continuous prayer for a speedy recovery” and adds, “as this disease is now a global phenomenon, we include in our prayers the whole world for a quick arrest of the spread and for a cure to be found.”