Covid-19 Shuts Radio Veritas for a week
Radio Veritas has had to close its studios and offices this week after the station recorded its first coronavirus case.
Station manager Khanya Litabe, who also presents the weekday breakfast programme “Matins” with former SABC broadcaster Colin Yorke, started displaying flu-like symptoms last week and decided to stay home.
“I was at work when I felt my body getting tired—as if something heavy had been placed on my shoulders. I had no temperature, no fever, but my throat was scratchy and my nose was blocked,” Mr Litabe recalled about the first indications of the infection.
“This was followed by the loss of smell and taste. When I went to see my doctor, she immediately recommended a Covid-19 test.”
He received a positive results over the weekend.
“As it stands now, I feel much better,” Mr Litabe told The Southern Cross on Monday.
“The headaches, pain and exhaustion are not as bad as they were when it all began. I’m self-quarantining at home with my family and taking all the necessary medication.”
Mr Yorke has gone into quarantine and is self-isolating for two weeks as a precautionary measure, since he was Mr Litabe’s only close contact in the studio.
The Radio Veritas studios and offices in Edenvale, Johannesburg, were closed with immediate effect for deep cleaning and to sanitise to ensure that it is safe when the rest of the staff returns to work on July 20.
Due to the offices being closed this week, Radio Veritas could not schedule normal programming from July 13-19.
During this period, local programming includes the daily Zulu rosary at 5:00, and the Angelus and English rosary at 6:00. Other than that, the station is streaming content from the US Catholic broadcaster EWTN until normal programming resumes on July 20.
Olinda Orlando, the producer of Mr Litabe’s morning show, said the staff of Radio Veritas are grateful “for all the wonderful messages” since the news of the Covid crisis was made public.
“There has been a really tremendous outpouring of love and care for Khanya, and for all of the staff at Radio Veritas, and we are extremely grateful,” she said.
“We ask everyone to pray for Khanya and his family, and also for Radio Veritas because this is not a good time for us to be unavailable to our listeners. People really want and need their daily Mass and enjoy the programmes,” Ms Orlando said.
Mr Litabe echoed the sentiment: “We are truly grateful to the Catholic family for all the prayers and words of encouragement and the general ‘We Care’ spirit. Radio Veritas is, because you are.”
Radio Veritas is South Africa’s only Catholic radio station, broadcasting on 576AM in Gauteng, on DStv audio channel 870, and livestreams audio through its website at www.radioveritas.co.za.