El Sadig El Mahdi, leader of the National Umma Party (NUP), has tested positive for COVID-19 along with a senior advisor of the prime minister, his office manager, and the governor of the Central Bank of Sudan.
After El Sadig El Mahdi complained about fatigue, he was tested for COVID-19 on Wednesday evening and received a positive test result on Thursday. According to a NUP press statement, he is now receiving treatment.
Following El Mahdi’s positive test result, all government officials were subjected to a coronavirus test, the Council of Ministers reported. The testing round showed positive results for Sheikh Khidir, senior advisor to Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, and Ali Bakheet, his office manager. Prime Minister Hamdok and other government officials tested negative.
In a statement, the Council of Ministers also reported that that Mohamed Zeinelabdin, Governor of the Bank of Sudan, has tested positive for the virus. The council also stated that everyone is receiving health care and doing well.
El Mahdi was the last democratically-elected Prime Minister of Sudan before his government was overthrown in the military coup on June 30, 1989, that brought Omar Al Bashir to power. For his leading role in the military coup, Omar Al Bashir was charged in Sudan with undermining the constitutional order in April 2020. After the coup, El Mahdi remains an important figure in the opposition movement whose political career spans more than a half-century and has seen him imprisoned and exiled.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Health of Khartoum state announced that it had extended COVID-19 testing following a recent rise in cases. So far, 13,772 know COVID-19 cases have been reported in Sudan whilst Haemorrhagic and Rift Valley fever cases are still on the rise.
Due to COVID-19, clashes, and climate shocks, food shortages are widespread according to Gilles Carbonnier, the vice president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “Communities are caught between extremes as clashes, droughts, and floods rob people of their homes and livelihoods again and again,” he said in a statement today, “a crisis made more complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, price inflation, and a shortage of basic commodities.”
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