The Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA) has announced that 11 Nigerians have died of COVID-19 so far in the country.
Naija News reports that NUSA President, Adetola Olubajo, disclosed this in a statement from Pretoria on Wednesday. He added that COVID-19 deaths were for Gauteng Province alone, adding that it was 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.
The disease according to the NUSA President, is real and has devastated several countries of the world, adding that the biggest challenge was the belief by some Nigerians in South Africa that the disease was not real.
“Many people believe that 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 that 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 give them the much-needed support.
“For instance, in case someone can’t get an ambulance, as soon as we get such a call, we ensure the person gets the ambulance,” he said.
The NUSA President added that the union was encouraging Nigerians to adopt all precautionary and safety measures put in place by the South African government for their safety.
According to him, 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 with the assistance of our health professionals,” he said.
The NUSA President said the union had 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.
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