Coronavirus, precautions spread in Sudan
Minister of Health Akram El Tom reported yesterday that six people in Sudan have been infected with the coronavirus (Covid-19) so far. About 34 Sudanese are in quarantine near the Egyptian-Sudanese border in Red Sea state. The Islamic Fiqh Academy is discussing whether Friday prayers should continue as usual or must be stopped. The Communist Party of Sudan calls for more measures to contain the spread of the virus.
The latest Covid-19 patient is a Sudanese in his 60s, who came from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Information Minister Feisal Mohamed Saleh announced that the curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus will be expedited from 8 pm to 6 pm, starting on Tuesday.
Minister of Energy and Mining Adil Ibrahim went into voluntary quarantine on Saturday, after coming within one metre to a person infected with the coronavirus. He did wear a face mask at the time, but insisted on going into quarantine, saying that prevention requires taking the utmost care.
Minister Ibrahim is working from his residence in Khartoum. Sources within the ministry said that there are about five officials who quarantined themselves two weeks ago after a business trip to Canada.
On Saturday evening, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) announced it shot down a drone near the Army Command in Khartoum. The drone flew over the home of Abdelfattah El Burhan, chairman of the Sovereign Council and Commander of the Armed Forces.
Army spokesman Brig Gen Amer El Hasan, said that the drone was launched to monitor the curfew at night, that was imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, “without formal notification to the head of the guards”.
The newly appointed head of the Islamic Fiqh Academy, Sheikh Abdelrahim Adam, said that the Academy is discussing whether Friday prayers should continue as usual, or whether the prayers must be stopped because of the coronavirus measure that bans all gatherings.
Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments Nasreldin Mofreh said on Saturday that he had received numerous demands to stop the Friday prayers and to close mosques and churches. He stated that such a decision must be based on recommendations of the Ministry of Health. He stressed that a decision like this requires the approval of the Sovereign Council and the Cabinet.
About 34 Sudanese have been put in quarantine near the Gabatit border crossing in Halayeb locality in Red Sea state, after they entered Sudan from Egypt three days ago.
Journalist Osman Hashim visited the area and told Radio Dabanga that they have been accommodated in two isolation centres in Gabatit. The returned Sudanese complain of shortages of water and food and claim that nothing has been done to prepare shelter for them. They sleep on the sand because there are no beds. The new arrivals appeal to the authorities to provide them with urgent assistance.
The Communist Party of Sudan called upon the Council of Ministers yesterday to impose more measures in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
In a statement the party demanded that the Cabinet provide the necessary financial support to the Ministry of Health to equip hospitals with quarantine areas for suspected cases and patients, and to provide laboratory services to confirm whether suspected patients carry the disease.
The party claimed that the situation requires that the Ministry of Health and the Higher Committee on Health Emergencies take control of all resources available at all state agencies, including army and police hospitals, and hospitals of the security apparatus.
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