CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Reuters) – On Broadhurst Cona’s fifth night in the COVID-19 ward of Cape Town’s Groote Schuur Hospital, the patient in the bed next to him was giving up.
The man gripped his own throat in panic as he choked, and he kept pulling off his oxygen mask. Cona pleaded with him to put it back on, but the man was beyond listening.
Early the next morning, Cona awoke to a commotion. The man’s bed was empty, and nurses in protective clothing were spraying it down with disinfectant. He was sealed in a beige-coloured body bag, and it took four people to lift him away to a passage leading to the lift.
Cona didn’t know it yet, because his companion had been too sick to speak and his face unrecognisable with pain, but he had seen this man many times before, as an opponent on the rugby