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Nigeria mourns death of 3 citizens in US over COVID-19 pandemic

Nigeria has been thrown into mourning following the announcement of the death of three Nigerians from the rampaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States.

Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, said in a statement that the three Nigerians include Mr Caleb Anya, a Registered Nurse from Abia State, who contracted the virus while on duty in New York, the epicentre of the pandemic in the U.S.

The other two include the 25-year-old Bassey Offiong from Calabar, a final year Chemical Engineering student of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, who died on Saturday, March 28, at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

Still, the other is the 60-year-old lady, Hajia Laila Abubakar Ali of Kano descent, who died on March 25, while receiving treatment at the Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, New York.

While Mr Okoyen described the death of the three Nigerians as “regrettable,” the government of Abia State expressed sadness over the death of the Registered Nurse who is an indigene of the State. 

In a statement on Sunday by the Abia State Commissioner of Information, Mr John Okiyi Kalu, the State government said: “Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the government and entire people of our state mourn with the family, friends and relations of the late Nurse Anya as well as the people of Ohafia where he hails from. His loss reminds us of the risk health workers in our state and globally take daily to protect the rest of us and we use this opportunity to once more salute their courage and sense of sacrificial service to others. 

“Our prayer is that the Almighty God will continue to protect all of them even as we all work harder daily to provide those at the frontline of the battle against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases with necessary personal protective equipment to keep them safe. May the soul of Nurse Caleb Anya and others who have lost their lives in this pandemic rest in the bosom of the Lord.”

Meanwhile, Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, has announced that he has tested negative to the virus twice and that he is  set to resume responsibility as head of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force Monday. 

Mr Makinde said on Sunday night via his Twitter handle @seyiamakinde that “I am deeply moved by your prayers and support throughout this period. I am so thankful. This evening, I received my second negative test result for COVID-19. I especially thank Prof Temitope Alonge, who acted in my stead as Head of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force.

“I am also grateful to all members of the Task Force for their cooperation during this time. I will be resuming my responsibility as Head of the Task Force from tomorrow.”

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