Coronavirus keeps hitting hard in the United States of America specifically in New York the epicenter of the virus. The entire African community is also affected like all other community groups in the USA. We have interviewed some African leaders to understand how the pandemic of the century has impacted the African community. They are all unanimous how difficult it is to give precise statistics regarding the number of people who have been infected or who have died.
This article was published in French few days ago and since people are asking for the English version, we have decided to do so. Many things have been evolved since then such as deaths toll and people who have been infected with the virus.
Sadio Yaya Barry president of the Senegalese Association in the United States of America : “It is very difficult to give an exact number when it comes to the covid – 19. We cannot say for example that all the dead people are related to covid – 19 but they died in the context of covid – 19. Do you see the nuance? Nevertheless, we have recorded 16 people who have died in the USA including 15 in New York and 1 in Ohio. We have actually 3 to 4 serious cases and a few cases in Nursing homes.
Mamadou Diallo is president of Union Fouta (an umbrella organization of many associations of Guineans in the United States of America): “We have recorded some people who have died, and we are coping with bodies. It appeals to the entire Guinean community in the USA and we need everyone’s support as we are keeping ourselves away from bodies. This does not allow to do the rituals. To date, we have registered between 19 to 20 people who passed away. Talking about those who have been tested positive let’s say it is medical and it is private. People do not want to reveal their situation. ”
Abdourahamane Diallo : (Editor’s note: Abdourahamane is president of the African Empowerment Project and secretary general of the African Advisory Council which is an organization that brings together almost all African associations in New York and which is overseeing by the Bronx borough president office. He is also a candidate for New York City Council district 16 in the Bronx. If elected, he will be the first African to hold that position in the Bronx.
” It’s difficult. We do not know the death toll and people who have been infected except close families can tell you. It’s a taboo subject. It’s when someone dies that we talk about it. Dead people are usually the elderly. We have mobilized so far 30 young people who will distribute 10,000 masks to the elderly. ”
Ramatu Ahmed Executive Director of African Life Center: (Editor’s note: Ramatu speaks on behalf of the Ghanaian community in the USA. She is a convinced Pan-African. She was the first African lady to inviting Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao the former African Union Ambassador to Washington DC, while she was still in her position.
“We do not have the correct data of people who have been tested positive, even the authorities cannot tell you exactly how many people are infected as there is no a screening center. Not everyone is comfortable saying that I have this. It’s a frustration at all levels. Covid – 19 is a disease to be taken seriously. They told us to call when we have symptoms and we don’t know at what stage of the symptoms we should call. People are sick and are at home. They call when they are dying. I know that there are 8 Africans who died in Staten Island. To date, 13 people have died in the Ghanaian community.
Mory Kouyate: President of African Immigrant’s Commission Inc. (Editor’s note: it is an organization that works in 3 different states, namely: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut):
“We focus on raising awareness and communication. We make people know through videos how to respect the guidelines issued by the authorities: washing your hands, wearing a mask and gloves. We are also focusing on nutrition. You have to eat healthy food and drink for example lemon and orange juices which contain vitamin C. We do this not only in the USA but also in Guinea. We will keep doing so. As far as numbers are concerned, it is difficult to say exactly how many people have been infected with the virus. ”
Bazona Barnabe Bado