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COVID-19: Nigerian student denied test dies weeks to graduation



A 25-year-old Western Michigan University, Nigerian-America student, Bassey Offiong has died of Coronavirus.

 Offiong died from the contagion just weeks from graduating from Western Michigan University (WMU) with a degree in chemical engineering. He had no known prior health conditions before yielding to the deadly virus, Saturday.

 School and county officials confirmed his death Sunday, days after the university reported its first of three confirmed coronavirus cases.

 “I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of our students, Bassey Offiong,” WMU President Edward Montgomery said. Offiong, Montgomery said, “was a young man of enormous potential.”

 “On behalf of the entire Bronco community, I want to extend my deepest condolences to his entire family, including his sister, Asari, who has been generous in communicating with us regularly. They are in our thoughts and prayers during his difficult time,” he added.

 Offiong was turned down several times for the coronavirus test in the Kalamazoo area while living off-campus despite having fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath, his sister said.

 “I told him to ask them to test him,” Asari told The Detroit News. “He said they refused to test him.” According to her, one medical staffer told him he had bronchitis.

 Offiong was hospitalised at Beaumont in Royal Oak and spent the last week on a ventilator in their intensive care unit. “I know God has him in his presence,” Asari said. “He loved God.”

 The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department in a statement commiserating with Offiong’s family stated: “We are truly saddened to learn of the death of a Western Michigan University student due to COVID-19.”

   “We know this student was not a Kalamazoo County resident; however, this virus has no borders when it comes to who it affects and how it is spread… Stay home and, if you must go out for essential items, stay safe by taking preventative measures.”

 Offiong’s death comes after the university first reported three positive cases of coronavirus heading into the weekend.

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