As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic reaches more and more communities in the country, affected families in townships have highlighted ill-treatment and discrimination as a result of the stigma associated with the virus.
The coronavirus has affected townships in the Western Cape, Gauteng, and KwaZulu-Natal.
First, it was Chinese nationals who faced discrimination and racism as a result of the stigma associated with COVID-19 even before the virus hit our shores.
Now the ill-treatment is being directed at the families of those who tested positive for the virus.
In Khayelitsha, a family of a young mother who contracted the virus said they had endured a flood of hateful social media posts and voice notes.
In Kwazulu-Natal, a teacher died from COVID-19 related complications and her sister, Zama Shandu, said some community members rejected her family.
“They even ran away from walking next to our family house. I think they don’t understand [the pandemic], but as a family, we don’t care and we are leaving everything to God,” Shandu said.
In Mpumalanga, there was a mother who was rumoured to have tested positive even though that was not true. She went into hiding after receiving death threats from the community.
Government said it would strengthen its education campaigns about the virus in communities.
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