COVID-19 ‘dangerous’ spread continues in Sudan

The Ministries of Health in Khartoum State, El Gezira, and River Nile State have published their reports on the rise of COVID-19 infections in their respective states.

The Ministries of Health in Khartoum State, El Gezira, and River Nile State have published their reports on the rise of COVID-19 infections in their respective states.

The Khartoum State Ministry of Health has recorded 110 new cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths on Friday and Saturday. This brings the state’s cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths to 778 and the number of confirmed cases to 18,585.

The director of the ministry, Mahjoub Menoufeli, presented the periodic report at the Corona Emergency Centre on Sunday. He indicated that the prevalence rate is now 20.9 per 10,000 residents.

When the COVID-19 prevalence rate in Khartoum reached 20.1 per 10,000 residents earlier this month, Menoufeli called this “a dangerous indicator”.

He also announced that 350 coronavirus patients recovered over the weekend. In total, 8,800 people have recovered from the disease in Khartoum state.

Menoufeli confirmed that Khartoum locality continues to record the highest infection rates, compared with the other six localities in the state. The locality recorded 5,926 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic in Sudan in March last year.

Last week, the minister warned school administrations and families against breaching or not adhering to health directives. The ministry would be forced to recommend closing schools again if health directives are breached, said Menoufeli.

The Ministry of Health of El Gezira, neighbouring Khartoum state, reported six new positive cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. They also recorded 12 recoveries and four deaths. 

In River Nile state, the local Ministry of Health announced 17 newly recorded cases, four deaths, and 18 recoveries in four days.

In its epidemiological report on Sunday, the ministry stated that the infections were recorded in six out of the seven localities and that the cumulative number of confirmed cases increased to 270, 36 deaths, and 131 recoveries.

Concerns about undetected cases

It is important to note that these numbers reflect the number of confirmed cases; those who tested positive for COVID-19. There are growing concerns about the number of unrecorded and undetected cases in the country.

Since January 1, the Sudanese Ministry of Health has not published any country-wide reports about the number of cases of COVID-19. Cases and death reports are being published by individual states regularly.

In December, a report from the Imperial College London (ICL) COVID-19 Response Team warned that an estimated 16,090 deaths may have been missed as of November 20. This means that only 2 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Khartoum have been registered as such.

In November, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) called COVID-19 a national security threat and warned that “the new cases announced by the ministry in its regular reports do not reflect the real epidemiological situation”. The organization said that “the cases registered in private laboratories are not included in the official figures, while the government has no plans to correct this”.

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