Residents of Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape, who have fully recovered from COVID-19 say they are being unfairly targeted for having contracted the virus. The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro has been declared a hotspot and recovered patients allege their lives are made difficult by the ignorance of some people.
Recovered COVID 19 patients like Vuyelwa Manana claim people around them are now afraid of them.
“Life has now become very painful. I have shown my managers proof that I have fully recovered from this virus, but it is sad that my colleagues have become very scared of me. Sometimes when I walk through the corridor, past someone, they will immediately put on their mask, even if they were not wearing it before, or try and walk in another direction. I don’t understand why they treat me like that,” says Manana.
Below are national COVID-19 stats in SA:
With all the information available, victims feel it is now up to the community to remove this stigma, so says another recovered patient Namhla Mfecane.
“I really doubt anything can now be done. People access information but they are very selective. For example: no one went door to door to talk to people about where to get social grant, yet everyone knows everything about it. Why must people go door to door talking about corona? I feel like it is up to people to receive the knowledge that is being given to them,” says Mfecane.
Amanda Madyaka, after being diagnosed with COVID-19, opened a digital support group for those battling the virus, and those who have recovered. She says the group has attracted scores of COVID-19 patients.
“After my husband and I were diagnosed with the virus, I felt it was important to gather as much knowledge and also get other people who are going through the same thing. I feel it is now our responsibility, as those who have been through this virus to educate others. People are just afraid,” says Madyaka.
There are over 13 000 confirmed cases in the Eastern Cape, which has the third-highest number of active cases in the country.
Below is a provincial breakdown of COVID-19 infections in SA: