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First coronavirus case confirmed in Sudan as Khartoum man dies

March 13 - 2020 KHARTOUM

Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of coronavirus (Covid-19) after a man in his 50s died in the capital Khartoum on Tuesday. According to an urgent press statement by the Federal Ministry of Health, the dead man visited the United Arab Emirates during the first week of March.

The ministry confirms that it is prepared to take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the disease, as part of the “expanded national plan to combat coronavirus” that was presented to the Prime Minister. The plan includes “strengthening the capacity of health facilities and cadres to combat the epidemic”.

Yesterday afternoon, the Council of Ministers and the Sovereign Council approved a package of measures submitted by the Federal Ministry of Health on behalf of the Supreme Committee for the Prevention of Epidemics, and the implementation of these measures began by closing some crossings and stopping travel to and from some severely affected countries.

As reported by Radio Dabanga earlier today, Sudan has suspended issuing visas to citizens of countries marked as major coronavirus (Covid-19) hotspots by the World Health Organization (WHO), and advised Sudanese against travelling to those countries unless in the case of force majeure. Flights to those countries have been suspended and the four crossing points between Sudan and Egypt will be closed ‘until further notice’.

The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reports that on Thursday, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Omar Manis issued a decision suspending issuing visas to citizens of Korea, China, Italy, Iran, France, Spain, Japan, and Egypt – countries listed by the WHO as being majorly affected.

On Thursday, the Sudan’s Civil Aviation Authority shut-down all direct flights from Egypt to El Fasher, Nyala, and El Geneina in Darfur by the Unamid peacekeeping mission.

This afternoon’s statement says that the senior management team continues to be present at the ministry and its facilities, and is working to support the Health Department in the state of Khartoum and with all the resources of the state, the private sector, citizens, and organizations to strengthen response capabilities.

Permanent emergency room

There is a permanent emergency room in the Health Ministry and it continues to meet and receive notifications from health personnel and the public, and to lead monitoring and response teams 24/7 from all states.

The Committee for the Prevention of Epidemics will hold an extraordinary meeting today at 2 pm and will continue to meet.

The statement says that a press conference will be held this evening in the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to organise full details, clarify the situation and provide instructions.

Radio Dabanga will continue to update you as new details are received.

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