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Nigerian Catholics providing COVID-19 relief to poor communities

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – In Nigeria, Catholic parishes and communities are providing relief materials and supplies to the poor and vulnerable people in the rural areas since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The Church in the country has also been supporting government’s wide efforts and raising awareness on safety measures to combat the virus.

The pandemic and lockdown restrictions imposed by government have affected the livelihood of many Nigerians especially those who run small businesses. In Nigeria, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contribute 48 percent of the GDP, 96 percent of businesses and 84 percent of employment.

Nigeria—Africa’s most populous country—has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the West African region. The first case was reported on February 27 when an Italian man who flew into the country tested positive. By June 4, there were 11, 516 confirmed cases with 3, 535 recoveries and 323 deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Nigeria has a weak and often inaccessible health system, and this has become a source of worry to experts. The NCDC for instance, recently reported that no Nigerian state has enough hospital beds to treat patients—and there are only 3,500 bed spaces for COVID-19 patients nationwide.

Read more at Catholic World report

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