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Coronavirus update: Sudan closes border with Egypt

April 5 - 2020 KHARTOUM
The Ashkeet crossing at the Sudanese-Egyptian border (File photo)
The Ashkeet crossing at the Sudanese-Egyptian border (File photo)

On Friday, Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health confirmed the registration of two new cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country, bringing the total to 10. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport decided to close down the border between Sudan and Egypt as a new precautionary measure.

The ministry explained that one of the two cases came from abroad and the other one was infected through contacts. “For the first time, Sudan registered a positive infected person through contact,” the ministry said.

Currently, the number of positively identified coronavirus cases in Sudan stands at 10, including two deaths. There are a further 140 suspected cases in isolation centres in Sudan.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport issued a decision to close-down the Ashkeet border post between Sudan and Egypt except for the Sudanese exports as a precaution to limit the spread of pandemic.

The decision permits only the movement of goods, but it does not allow the movement of people between the two countries. “The drivers of vehicles are not allowed to enter Sudan,” the ministry said. The decision stipulates that it is mandatory for all suppliers to provide spraying and pesticides for their imported goods.

As reported by Radio Dabanga last week, Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to temporarily close the Sudanese embassy in Cairo after a group of Sudanese citizens stormed the embassy building.

The Sudanese nationals claim they were left stranded in Egypt, after Sudan closed its borders in mid-March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Tea sellers

In Atbara in River Nile state, the authorities permitted tea sellers to work on Friday. The decision came after tea sellers demonstrated against the precautionary measures and lack of alternative sources of income on Thursday. They argued that the decision is unfair because tea selling is their primary source of income and the government does not provide them with anything.

Activist Badreldin Hussein told Radio Dabanga that the locality government had previously promised the tea sellers with monthly payment, but the government did not meet its promise. Then on Thursday, tea sellers demonstrated in front of the government building demanding permission to work or the monthly payment as promised, he explained.

“Therefore, on Friday, the authorities allowed them to resume their work in the markets under the condition that they should use disposable teacups,” Badreldin said.

In Khartoum, the fear of Coronavirus pushed people to line up in long queues in front of banks instead of ATMs to withdraw money for stocking-up for Coronavirus quarantine, or social distancing.

The Director of Marketing Department at El Baraka Bank, Karamallah El Kheir attributed the excessive demand for withdrawals to the inflation in the country. “The money in ATM is insufficient and the increasing fear of the spreading pandemic all these contributed to the high demand for withdrawing cash,” he said.

El Kheir advised people to withdraw cash from ATMs while bearing in mind the guidance and instructions of the Ministry of Health.

Radio Dabanga’s editorial independence means that we can continue to provide factual updates about political developments to Sudanese and international actors, educate people about how to avoid outbreaks of infectious diseases, and provide a window to the world for those in all corners of Sudan. Support Radio Dabanga for as little as €2.50, the equivalent of a cup of coffee.


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