'I'd rather die than infect anyone else': KZN woman awaiting Covid-19 test results

Amanzimtoti resident Bonita Pillai, 32, has been criticised after doing make-up for a client at the weekend who tested positive for Covid-19.
Amanzimtoti resident Bonita Pillai, 32, has been criticised after doing make-up for a client at the weekend who tested positive for Covid-19.
Image: Facebook/Bonita Leah Pillai

A KwaZulu-Natal make-up artist has posted a genuine and heartfelt account of her horrifying ordeal to get tested for the coronavirus after one of her clients tested positive.

Bonita Pillai, a 32-year-old make-up artist from Amanzimtoti, south of Durban, took to social media on Thursday and opened up about her experience, raising questions of whether SA is actually prepared to deal with the pandemic.

She learnt that a client, who had travelled from Johannesburg to Durban to attend her father's 70th birthday celebration over the weekend, had tested positive for the virus this week.

Speaking exclusively to SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE, Pillai said she firmly believed that the government was not ready to deal with what was coming.

She claimed that none of the hotline numbers provided by the department of health were reachable.

“The amount of sick people that were there getting tested at the lab was ridiculous. Someone [at the lab] told me that they were not prepared for this. If people are not responsible, we have a major issue on our hands,” she said.

LETS CLEAR THE AIR! ❤❤❤ Hi Everyone, There have been an extraordinary inflow of messages to check on my wellbeing and...

Posted by Bonita Leah Pillai on Thursday, March 19, 2020

She added that it was an emotional decision to go public and share her experience online.

“This will jeopardise my business, but there is a much more serious problem at hand here. This is not about me. If we do not get this under control, what is going to happen?

“I feel so strongly about this, this is not an act. What about people who cannot afford to get tested?”

An emotional Pillai said she would “rather die than infect someone else”.

“I just hope people take this seriously. I never in a million years thought this would happen to me. It's all around us, as far as I'm concerned.”

She said she couldn't understand how rumours about her and her family started circulating this week and yet no-one had contacted them to confirm what was going on.

She added that she would continue to self-isolate until her results came back in three days.


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