The Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA) has disclosed that 11 Nigerians have died from the coronavirus in South Africa.
A statement by the union on Wednesday made it known that the deceased all died at different times.
Adetola Olubajo, President of NUSA, said that the COVID-19 deaths are from Gauteng Province alone, adding that it is yet to get figures from eight other provinces in South Africa.
“At the last count, 11 Nigerians have died from COVID-19 in Gauteng Province alone. I have attended the funeral of some of them,’’ he said.
He thinks most Nigerians in South Africa do not believe the virus is real.
“Many people believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is political and fake and that they are just seeing figures.
“On the contrary, we have seen quite a number of our people who have died from the disease in South Africa. Another challenge we have is stigmatisation and refusal of infected people to disclose their status.”
“We have provided a channel through which the identities of infected people will be protected and we can give them the much needed support.
“For instance, in case someone can’t get an ambulance, as soon as we get a call, we ensure the person gets the ambulance,’’ he said.
The Union urged Nigerians to adopt all precautionary and safety measures put in place by the South African government for their safety.
Olubajo added that the Union is working with a team of Nigerian and South African health professionals in the frontline of various hospitals to assist Nigerians with information.
“We have put in place a mechanism to reach out to many Nigerians in South Africa with information about the available assistance from our health professionals,’’ he said.
He said the union has provided COVID-19 palliatives to Nigerians but preference was being given to vulnerable people like single mothers, students, petty traders and artisans who earn daily living on the streets.
“We are monitoring their progress and how they are surviving the COVID-19 pandemic economically,’’ Olubajo said.
He added that the union is also planning to link up with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to get as much adequate information as possible.
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