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A Nigerian man, Okunuga Olumide Saraju, 64-years-old has reportedly died from complications suffered as a result of the dreaded Coronavirus.

Okunuga who is well-known in the circles of associations and voluntary workers from Modena, was found dead on Monday, March 9th at his home. In a report by a local Italian news website, Gazetta Di Modena, Okunuga had lived in Modena for 30 years.

He was found around 11 am on March 9th in his apartment where he lived alone in via Morselli, on the side of via Ciro Menotti. A friend raised the alarm. There were no signs of violence or break-ins in the house, nor traces of blood. It seems that the man, who had a complex previous health picture, had been at home for several days because he was not well, but was not subjected to isolation. Autopsy insights will be carried out.

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Local health officials said that for days he had been suffering from high fevers and was helped by some friends, who became worried when he no longer answered calls.

“On Monday, he was found lifeless in his apartment. For now it is impossible to affirm the cause of death, also because he suffered from a congenital disease. The last word belongs to the coroner who will perform the autopsy and the swab to check for any positivity to covid-19. In any case, for precautionary reasons the body was brought from the house to the street, closed by a municipal police cordon, with the necrophores completely protected by overalls and masks. A scene that impressed the neighborhood.”

Okunuga schooled and graduated in Bologna, employee of an important Modena company, former vice president of the Foreigners Council of Modena, volunteer and former CGIL delegate, he was an Italian citizen in all respect and for 15 years he lived on the first floor of the building in via Morselli. He lived alone since he separated from his wife. Friends who came after the tragic discovery describe him as a solar person, of great commitment.

Since he had been sick, his friends had decided to take the necessary supplies in turn, leaving them for him on the window at home; from that position, he would take everything they brought for him and that windowsill became his last contact with the world outside the home. It happened in fact that last Thursday he started to feel bad. He suffered from exhaustion and a severe fever. He called the family doctor who went to his house to visit him. The doctor thought it was a normal flu: as friends reported, he took his leave advising him about tachipirine and telling him to stay indoors. In short, it seemed like a seasonal influence. On the weekend, those who called him say he kept complaining about the growing fever. Everyone knew that he had congenital problems and that even in the past he had stayed home sick. Mohamed Lasry, known as Il Sarto, his friend and neighbor, says: “The last phone call was on Monday evening. He told me he was very sick, he couldn’t take it anymore. Then I passed by yesterday morning. He didn’t answer. Then I raised the alarm. ” The municipal police arrived on the spot followed by the firefighters. After a few unsuccessful attempts at the intercom, the door was forced and the macabre discovery took place. The 64-year-old’s lifeless body was lying on the ground. He had evidently fallen suddenly without getting up again.

Municipal police officers immediately took necessary precautions. At the command, after a few phone calls, the procedure for recovering the body according to the practice against coronavirus was activated. A choice that was not dictated by the fact that the deceased patient was really sick of this virus but based on a precautionary calculation: maximum prevention against any infections. The body was loaded by the necropheors of the Gianni Gibellini honors and taken to the Legal Medicine for an autopsy. Only the coroner will be able to clarify what struck the 67-year-old, if it was or was not the coronavirus or another virus or his congenital disease.

Condolence from the mayor Giancarlo Muzzarelli and the president of the city council Fabio Poggi: “Olumide Okunuga was an integrated immigrant and a protagonist of the intercultural world”, they said.


He was a delegate of the metalworkers union Fim Cisl Emilia Centrale to Annovi Reverberi of Modena Olumide Okunuga, the Nigerian citizen found lifeless yesterday morning in his home in the city.

In so many complicated days, today is a very sad day for the Fim and for all the people who have known Olumide – writes the Fim Cisl Emilia Centrale – Olumide was a citizen of the world open to others, to solidarity, always smiling and jovial. A man of the Fim, a man of the CISL as there are few. Never a word out of place and never a controversy ».

“Olumide was a friend, as well as our delegate of reference in Annovi Reverberi – adds the secretary of the Fim Cisl Emilia Centrale Giorgio Uriti – One who certainly did not send her to say, one tough, a Fimmino doc of the old guard. He knew how to tame “comrades” well, so he called them those of Fiom. Always polite and polite, every time I went to the company to hold the meeting, he always brought me the bottle of water and gave me a smile, to show his happiness to see Fim there in the company with him. Fim loses a great person, a respectable delegate always on the front line and on the side of the weakest. All of us who have had the honor and fortune to know him, will always carry his smile and kindness in their hearts. We will miss you, rest in peace, brother Olumide », concludes Uriti, announcing that, as soon as possible, the metalworkers CISL of Modena and Reggio will honor Okunuga as he deserves.

While formal autopsy report is being awaited; anonymous family sources believe he died of the dreaded Coronavirus.

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