Religious groups across the Cape Flats have taken to the streets to pray for patients and medical staff battling the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The initiative started by various community groups sees interfaith services being held outside local hospitals.
On Sunday morning, a group of people led by various religious leaders assembled outside Somerset Hospital where they prayed for healing.
The group, led by Sheikh Salieg Isaacs from Manenberg, say as social media is flooded with messages of condolences for victims, their aim was to give both patients and staff much needed encouragement.
“Many groups across Cape Town have started this initiative and it is all about spreading hope at the hospitals,” says Sheikh Salieg.
“The second wave has hit us hard and every day there is a post of someone who has died from Covid-19.
“For many of the patients, they are removed from their families and their faith (communities), and we want to show them that there are people who are praying for them.”
Isaacs says under the lockdown restrictions, the group from Manenberg who host weekly thikrs in their area have been unable to gather to pray for their community.
“The thikrs have been put on hold because of the restrictions and we understand that so we thought of reaching out to the hospitals,” he explains.
“We only gather 15 people at each location and ensure social distancing.
“At some hospitals we are able to see the patients at the windows as they come to listen to the duas from the parking lot. But it is important for us that this is an interfaith initiative so we also invite churches to join us.
Pastor Lennox Makhanda from Mfuleni joined the group in prayer on Sunday.
“I am also the head of security at the hospital and every day people are dying,” he says.
“I joined the prayers today because our people are dying and the staff are tired, so prayer brings some hope and it’s nice to see people of different faiths come together.”
On Sunday the group visited Somerset Hospital, Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital and Groote Schuur Hospital.
Nearly 33 000 South Africans have died of Covid-related complications.