Mfuleni resident defeats Covid-19 against all odds

Mandlakazi Zondi shares her story of recovery after she tested positive for Covid-19.

The odds were not in 56-year-old Mfuleni resident Mandlakazi Zondi’s favour when she contracted Covid-19 at the beginning of last month.

The mother of four said one day she woke up with aches and chills in her body, including extreme pain in her upper back.

She immediately asked one of her children to take her to the hospital.

Ms Zondi, who is being treated for high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes and chest complications, was advised to test for Covid-19.

According to the national Department of Health, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.

In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The most recently discovered coronavirus causes Covid-19.

Ms Zondi’s results came back after four days and showed that she had tested positive for Covid-19.

She was shocked and worried for her sickly aunt whom she was looking after.

Her sickly aunt had recently visited a doctor before she got sick.

While she was still figuring out how she was going to fight the virus, she said her aunt got sick again and was immediately admitted to Khayelitsha District Hospital.

Two days later, her aunt died of coronavirus.

While she was still battling to come to grips with the death of her aunt, Ms Zondi’s health started deteriorating and the battle against coronavirus became a mammoth task.

Ms Zondi remained at home under the care of her son and daughter in-law, both of whom also caught the virus.

Ms Zondi shares her three-roomed RDP house with 11 people, including her children and grandchildren.

She said they struggled to isolate themselves because they live in a small house.

She said her children bought flu medicine to fight the virus and they did everything they could to recover.

“I feared for my life because I’m already treating these other diseases and my immune system might be weak. Knowing that a member of my family has died because of the coronavirus was extremely sad and hurtful.

“It was hard even to do preparations for the funeral because we have tested positive. Some of my sisters did not even come to assist us with the funeral preparations. People feared us and some still fear us even now,” she said.

Ms Zondi said national lockdown regulations meant that the family was forced to mourn in isolation, which added to their grief.

She was saddened that in the Eastern Cape, where they buried her aunt, people had run away when the casket arrived at her home.

But after a frightening few weeks, Ms Zondi said her family was now symptom-free.

She attributes their recovery to having faith and a strong family bond.

Before she contracted the virus, she said she had followed all the regulations announced by the government.

She said people must know that Covid-19 does exist and can kill you if you don’t take it serious.

According to the provincial government, as of yesterday, Wednesday July 1, the Western Cape had 63 816 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 44 938 recoveries.

There have been 308 497 tests conducted and 1 854 deaths have been recorded in the province.

The Khayelitsha sub-district recorded 6 605 cases. The statistics as at yesterday, said there have been 5 327 recoveries.

According to the national Department of Health, the country has had 151 209 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 73 543 recoveries, 6 945 new cases and 2 657 deaths.

The provincial government and municipalities are providing comfortable facilities where you can safely be in isolation or quarantine away from home, until it is safe for you to return.

You can save other people’s lives by going into an isolation (confirmed infections) or quarantine (possible infections) facility.

When taking up accommodation at one of the isolation or quarantine facilities, you will be transported to the relevant facility and back home after 14 days. Young children will not be separated from their mothers or caregivers but can accompany them to the facility.

The quarantine facilities offer a single room per person and access to a bathroom. The isolation facilities offer single or shared rooms and access to bathroom facilities. Regular meals are provided during the period as well as a laundry service.You will be monitored by a health team to support you during this period.

You can keep in regular contact with family members through phone calls or social media messaging as visitations are not allowed.

For quarantine or isolation referrals in the Khayelitsha/Eastern area, call 021 360 4710 or email or or

According to the World Health Organization, there have been 10 185 374 cases of Covid-19 globally and 503 862 people have died.