CAPE TOWN – WESTERN Province fans can breathe a sigh of relief – captain Siya Kolisi has tested negative for Covid-19.
But unfortunately for the Kolisi family, his wife Rachel’s test result was positive, and both took to Instagram to share their experiences of the last few days on Sunday evening.
Siya was withdrawn from Saturday’s Currie Cup match against Griquas at Newlands late on Friday night, with coach John Dobson stating after his team won 34-17 that the loose forward had been in contact with a Covid-19 positive person.
That proved to be Rachel, with Kolisi posting a picture of his wife eating a meal in isolation at their house as he and children Nicholas and Keziah sat with their food and watched from behind a closed window.
“Date nights have changed a bit. It’s been a roller-coaster experience. I tested negative, which I’m incredibly grateful for! Seeing how hard it’s been for Rachel @rachel_kolisi has not been easy, especially when I can’t physically be with her,” Siya said.
“And it’s definitely taken a toll on the kids not having their mom with us. I’ve picked up all the household responsibility and for the first time ever, realise what it’s been like when I go on tours. It’s not easy.”
Rachel added that she had been swimming when she first thought that something was wrong. “I never had a fever, no sore throat, no coughing. I actually spent the day in the pool and assumed I had a sinus infection. I realised I couldn’t smell anything, so went straight into isolation until I received my positive result,” she wrote in her Instagram post, which was accompanied by a photo of her lying down on a pillow.
“It’s been so rough and scary at times, especially when you have small kids who don’t understand why they can’t touch you. My heart breaks for those in hospital having to fight this alone, not knowing if they’ll see their loved ones again.”
WP coach Dobson said that Siya also won’t be able to play in this Saturday’s crucial match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein as he has to complete his 10-day isolation period.
The couple went on to praise the medical workers who have been trying to assist the public who are battling with Covid-19.
Siya said: “I know of so many people who are really suffering watching loved ones affected by Covid or they have physically been affected, and want to remind us all it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to stop the spread. Thank you to all of the medical workers who are going above and beyond to care for our loved ones when we can’t.
“Let’s continue to remember the seriousness of this virus, and do everything we can to protect those around us.”
Rachel reminded her followers on the social media platform that the coronavirus was “not like flu”. “Equally my heart breaks for the healthcare workers working tirelessly and understaffed, while others are not taking the safety precautions seriously at all.
“COVID is not like flu. It’s so much worse, and if my posting can encourage someone to take one extra step of precaution, that will be great. Also, if you know of people not taking Covid seriously, please have a conversation with them about it. People are dying.
“It’s clear our numbers in SA are out of control – we’re just short of 1 million cases. Yet some people are more relaxed about it than ever?”
At the time of writing, South Africa had reached the undesirable mark of one million positive Covid-19 cases, with Sunday’s new cases tally being 9 502 – and with the death toll having risen to 26 735.
It has been reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa summonsed the National Coronavirus Command Council to a meeting on Sunday to discuss the ‘second wave’ that has hit the country, and that he is set to call a ‘family meeting’ this week to address the nation on possible changes to the lockdown regulations.