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South Africa's poor fear spread of COVID-19 due to living conditions

South Africa

There’s deep fear among poor residents in South Africa over COVID-19 due to their living conditions.

Mando Masimola lives in a one-bedroom home made of tin in an informal Soweto settlement.

She said since the homes are very close to one another, she and her family “don’t know how we’ll survive if the virus infects us since we live in groups.”

“Should one of us catch the flu that then means we’ll all be infected because we live within a group. We hope that the government will help us, because there’s children here and when you go to the communal water to wash your laundry it’s always full”, Masimola said.

South Africa’s Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu, said the government must intensify the flow of information to underdeveloped communities about the coronavirus.

“There’s too many people in one house. People live in shacks. But we need to step up in terms of communicating and helping them. You know, if we need to get to the masks, we need to get the masks. If we need to get the sanitizers to people, we need to get the sanitizers to people. We are hoping that at a local level the directive has been very clear that government must go to the communities to try and help communities”, Zulu said.

The number of coronavirus cases in this Southern African nation jumped to 202 as of Friday. It is an increase challenge for the government should people living in some of the nation’s poorest settlement get infected.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. The World Health Organization said its takes three to six weeks to recover.


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