39-year-old Frankline Ndifor died on Saturday, Voice of America reports. Dr. Gaelle Nnanga told Voice of America that one of Ndifor's followers called him to the home on the day of his death. When he arrived, he found the pastor lying in "agony." Ndifor passed away less than 10 minutes after Nnanga's arrival.
Ndifor and his followers also believed that he was able to cure people of the coronavirus by praying for them. They are now concerned about those who won't be able to be treated for the virus since Ndifor has passed.
"This is a pastor that has been laying hands [on the sick] and claiming that he cures COVID-19," one of his followers, Rigobert Che, 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."
Police reportedly had to use force to enter Ndifor's residence because his followers—who believe he was a prophet—barricaded the entrance as they prayed for his resurrection. After using tear gas to disperse Ndifor's followers, authorities forcefully gathered the body for a quick burial that was in line with COVID-19 infection procedures, The Cameroon Tribune reports. But according to BBC, Ndifor’s family and followers plan to obtain his body. Their goal is to regain possession of the body so that Ndifor has a vessel when he returns.
Per Johns Hopkins University, Cameroon has 4,400 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Saturday, leading to 159 deaths.