Coronavirus measures: Sudan’s Council of Ministers issues directions
Sudan’s mini Council of Ministers has issued a set of directions following an emergency meeting held in Khartoum yesterday to discuss the recommendations of the Supreme Coordination Committee for combating the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic. Their directions include enforced quarantine of those who have been in contact with Covid-19, as well as the closure of all schools, universities, and religious institutes for a month.
The ministers have directed Sudan’s security authorities to support the Ministry of Health to implement quarantine procedures in the isolation and quartering centres to isolate and examine “those who have been in contact with the virus and who refuse to submit to quarantine procedures”.
Military hospitals throughout the country have been directed to serve as centres for shelter and to provide treatment services.
All kindergartens, schools, Koran schools (khalawi), and religious institutes at all levels are to be closed for a month. All festivals, camps, and remedial classes are cancelled.
The ministers direct that the basic exams in those states where the exams have not yet been held should be postponed until “a date to be determined later”.
An exception is the Sudanese Certificate (secondary school) exam, which the ministers say will occur on time “unless another decision is issued”.
All universities, colleges, as well as government, private, and foreign higher institutes will also be closed for a month.
Additional health measures
The ministers direct that additional health measures and controls should be implemented in prisons and reformatory centres, while ministries, government, and private companies should “take measures to reduce crowds in the workplace”.
Public gatherings such as weddings, condolences, and other public events are suspended, while the ministers ordered “tightening control over public markets, the control over prices of food supplies, and medical and non-medical supplies”.
Sudanese nationals stranded at Egyptian border crossings – which have been on lockdown since Thursday – will be evacuated through the Argeen crossing, the establishment of a temporary shelter camp, and conduction of medical examination by an integrated medical team.
On Friday, Sudan’s Prime Minister, Abdallah Hamdok called on the Sudanese public to be vigilant when dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic which spread rapidly, across the world.
In a statement via social media, Hamdok said: “We must be careful because the epidemic is spreading rapidly. We urge all citizens to follow the health directives announced by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization to protect ourselves and our families.”
The PM urged people to wash their hands regularly and to avoid gatherings, “which will be useful during this critical stage”.
He underlined that all the concerned authorities in Sudan are ready to implement the comprehensive plan to confront the coronavirus outbreak.
As reported by Radio Dabanga on Friday, Sudan has suspended issuing visas to citizens of countries marked as major Covid-19 hotspots by the World Health Organization (WHO), and advised Sudanese against travelling to those countries unless in the case of force majeure. Flights to those countries have been suspended and the four crossing points between Sudan and Egypt will be closed ‘until further notice’.
The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reports that on Thursday, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Omar Manis issued a decision suspending issuing visas to citizens of Korea, China, Italy, Iran, France, Spain, Japan, and Egypt – countries listed by the WHO as being majorly affected.
Also on Thursday, the Sudan’s Civil Aviation Authority shut-down all direct flights from Egypt to El Fasher, Nyala, and El Geneina in Darfur by the Unamid peacekeeping mission.
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