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High mortality rates in North Darfur capital partly due to coronavirus

May 29 - 2020 KHARTOUM / EL FASHER / EL OBEID / SHAMBATA / EL GEDAREF
A poster warning to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing (OCHA)
A poster warning to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing (OCHA)

A third of the increased mortality rates in the North Darfur capital El Fasher has been caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19), a university study shows.

The Technical Committee of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of El Fasher has studied the sudden rise of the mortality rate in El Fasher in the past weeks. The study was carried out in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef), and the North Darfur Ministry of Health and Social Development.

150 patients who died between May 1 and May 24 were included in the study. Information was provided about 145 deceased people, five relatives declined to respond the questions.

The study shows that 32 percent of the deceased showed coronavirus symptoms, such as fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. 70 per cent of them died within two weeks. The average age of the deceased was 71 years. Two thirds of them were men.

Urologist El Tahir Ahmed, deputy dean of the Faculty of Medicine at El Fasher University, presented the results of the study yesterday. He said that 68 per cent of the patients had other symptoms than those linked to the coronavirus. “We do not rule out that these patients also suffered from Covid-19,” he said.

North Kordofan

Mortality rates among seniors and people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and malaria have risen sharply in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan, since three weeks.

Mohamed Ahmed, Initiatives Coordinator in El Obeid, told Radio Dabanga that the patients usually fall into a coma before they die. Many of them have been buried without having been investigated, because they did not visit hospitals.

Ahmed stressed the seriousness of the health situation in the state, and the absence of agencies that control the precautionary measures taken by the authorities to prevent the spread of the pandemic. He pointed out that people continue to travel to other states and localities, that group prayers are still held in mosques, and that crowds attend weddings and funerals.

He appealed to the people to adhere to the precautionary health measures that prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Sennar

There is a remarkable increase in the mortality rate in Shambata village in the north-eastern part of Sennar.  Worried villagers reported that ten people aged 30 to 60 died during the past two weeks.

They informed the state’s health authorities about this. The authorities replied that they do not have enough fuel to send a medical team.

Abdelrafee Mustafa, member of the village’s media committee, told Radio Dabanga that the deceased were infected by the first confirmed coronavirus case in Sennar.

Several patients suspected of having been infected by the coronavirus are now being treated by volunteers in the village’s health centre.

The health authorities so far have not provided any medicines or equipment, Mustafa said.

Mustafa called the situation “serious”. “The Shambata area includes some 283 villages. The people mix with each other at markets. There is not enough awareness that people shouldn’t meet each other during this pandemic.”

El Gedaref

The governor of El Gedaref, Maj Gen Nasreldin Abdelgayoum, announced that the closure of the markets and the curfew from 6 pm till 6 am will be extended for another 15 days.

The travel ban between localities and to other states will be extended as well. More crossings will be closed.

Unamid

Two passengers on a special flight from Unamid’s logistics hub in El Fasher to Nairobi have tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival.

The flight carried 14 Unamid, UN, and NGO personnel, including Unamid staff who had volunteered for departure due to underlying health conditions that render them highly vulnerable were they to contract Covid-19 infection in the operating conditions of the field. Neither passenger had any obvious symptoms of coronavirus or other infection, nor presented signs of any illness during the pre-departure screening.

The other passengers on the flight are quarantined and under medical observation in accordance with Kenya’s Covid-19 protocols. Unamid has initiated its mandatory contact tracing procedures and is also reviewing its overall procedures regarding travel of staff.

4,346 confirmed cases

The Sudanese Ministry of Health reported 200 new cases of coronavirus yesterday. 11 more patients died. This brings the total number of registered coronavirus cases in the country to 4,346. 195 patients died so far.

145 of the new cases were recorded in Khartoum state, 16 in El Gedaref, seven in North Kordofan, South Darfur, and White Nile state, four in North Darfur, 3 in East Darfur, and one in Central Darfur.


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