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Coronavirus: Sudan imposes stricter measures to enforce social distancing

May 3 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Poster advising the Sudanese public to stay at home (Sudan Health Ministry, in cooperation with WHO and Unicef)
Poster advising the Sudanese public to stay at home (Sudan Health Ministry, in cooperation with WHO and Unicef)

Sudan’s High Committee for Health Emergencies has taken new decisive measures to reinforce the social distancing policies as coronavirus (Covid-19) cases have increased. The Minister of Health has annulled the National Council for Medicines and Toxins’ decision regarding medicine pricing for locally manufactured medicines.

In a press conference on Thursday, Member of the Sovereign Council and Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Health Emergencies, Prof Siddig Tawir told reporters that the committee issued more decisive precautionary measures to implement the social distancing policy effectively.

Tawir further explained that undermining the instructions of the Ministry of Health as well as human trafficking are the primary factors of the recent rapid increase of coronavirus cases in the country.

“We expect the worst in the coming days, but as a government, we have obligations to the Sudanese people,” he said. He urged the Sudanese people to follow and respect the instructions and guidance of the ministry of health.

On Thursday, hundreds of members of the Sudanese army and the Rapid Suppport Forces militia were deployed in the streets in Khartoum to enforce the measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Minister of Culture and Information Feisal Mohamed Saleh clarified that lifting the current precautionary measures depends on the scale of the spread of the pandemic.

Medicine prices

Minister of Health Akram El Tom said in a press conference on Thursday that he annulled the decision of the National Council for Medicines and Toxins regarding medicines pricing for locally manufactured medicines.

Last week, locally manufactured medicine increased by 100 per cent in the country. “People cannot afford such high prices in these difficult circumstances,” he said.

The current medicine production is insufficient and some medicines, including life-saving, have started to run out completely from the stores in Khartoum and other states.

El Tom further appealed to the Sudanese people to respect and appreciate the sacrifices of health workers rather than harassing or assaulting them. “They work tireless to provide health services 24 hours,” he said.

He explained that the personal protective equipment in the country is insufficient. “What we have can only cover the coming two weeks,” he added.

The minister also expressed his appreciation to the Central Pharmacists Committee for their work and advocacy to annul the decision of the National Council for Medicines and Toxins.

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