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COVID-19 in Sudan: Face masks, social distancing, now mandatory in state institutions, schools, public transport

Graphic: RD
Graphic: RD

Face masks, disinfection, and social distancing are to become mandatory in Sudan’s state institutions, schools, public transport, and all gathering places subject to overcrowding, the Supreme Committee for Health Emergencies has said. The committee says it will activate a law to enforce this decision. A similar regulation has been in force for employees public and private institutions since last week.

In a statement following the committee’s meeting in Khartoum on Tuesday, Sudan’s Minister of Health Dr Omar El Najeeb noted that “there has been a steady increase in the number of injuries and deaths due to corona, especially in the states of Khartoum and El Gezira”.

The minister stressed that the situation in Khartoum state is a cause for concern due to the increase in cases, especially among school children and teachers. He added that “the issue is complicated by the capacity of healthcare institutions in terms of the capabilities to receive cases, a severe shortage of absorptive capacity, as well as the problem of the lack of oxygen, medicines, and other aids”.

The minister explained that the meeting also decided to form a committee from the Ministries of Health, Finance, and Energy to provide the necessary equipment for the health sector, accelerate the vaccination process, and increase the target groups for vaccination to include health professionals, seniors aged over 60 to higher, those with chronic conditions, and workers in vital sectors.

North Darfur state announced the suspension of studies in basic and secondary schools for a week, starting on Thursday. The decision issued by the Wali, Mohamed Arabi after a positive case was recorded among the students, excludes students in the eight grenade

The Health Emergency Committee in North Darfur state announced that eight deaths were recorded in the second wave of the Corona pandemic, while the number of cases during the past week reached 16, including three cases that were recorded on Monday.

Arabi announced his approval of the recommendations issued by the joint meeting of the State Security Committee and the Emergency Health Committee on Tuesday. The recommendations included strictly prohibiting gatherings and imposing penalties on those violating the precautionary measures.

In eastern Sudan, Red Sea state announced a third wave of the Corona pandemic, indicating that positive cases are still being recorded. The state epidemiological report revealed 149 new cases, including 11 cases, on Monday.

Dr Taha Badawi, reporter of the Supreme Chamber of Corona Crisis Management in Red Sea state, told Radio Dabanga that the state has issued a decision to postpone the diving festival in Muhammad Qul locality for a week until the situation was assessed.

Positive cases since the beginning of the second wave of the pandemic in November 2020, cumulatively, amounted to 464, of which Port Sudan recorded 407, and cases received from transit travellers from other states 46.

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