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Increase in COVID-19 cases recorded in Sudan attributed to increased testing

December 18 - 2020 KHARTOUM / EL GEZIRA
Pedestrians in downtown Khartoum at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March (Social media)
Pedestrians in downtown Khartoum at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March (Social media)

The Sudanese Ministry of Health has reported that 401 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the country on Monday and Tuesday. 24 coronavirus patients died, and 206 recovered.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic to 22,082. 1,384 patients have died in total, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

The Sudanese police press office announced yesterday that the Chief of Police, Ezzeldin Mansour, is infected with coronavirus.

The Minister of Health, Osama Abdelrahim, attributed the increase in the number of people infected with COVID-19 during the second wave to a “10 times increase” in testing capacities by the Ministry of Health.

In his periodic report to the Council of Ministers on Tuesday, Abdelrahim pointed to a decrease in deaths due to COVID-19. He said that health and medical workers are working very hard.

The members of the Council stressed the need to increase the capacity of isolation centres, the importance of making arrangements to increase the support allocated to health care in the country. They also said that Sudan should not to be complacent in making the necessary arrangements in all 18 states, to ensure that the pandemic does not spread, taking into account the World Health Organization’s vision that the second wave is stronger than the first.

On the same day, the Ministry of Health announced that 8.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to specified target groups. The distribution of the vaccine is planned to take place in the first quarter of 2021, depending on global production and waiting lists.

Polio vaccine

The Minister of Health also commended the success of the first round of the anti-polio campaign on Tuesday, which was completed with a 97 per cent success rate.

The campaign, entitled ‘Towards a Polio-Free Homeland’ is targeting 8,617,936 children in Sudan at a total cost of $24 million.

Ahmed El Mustafa, El Gezira’s Director of Health, attributed success of the campaign to the support of the Sudanese government, along with the participation of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the campaign. He also noted that there were specific issues that confronted the campaign in El Gezira state.

The health minister called for efforts to be redoubled in preparation for the second round of vaccinations, which will begin in one month. The rate of coverage and quality of indicators will be increased in the second round, due to exceptionally difficult conditions, including the coronavirus pandemic and economic hardships in Sudan.

Director of the Health Ministry’s Immunisation Department, Abdallah Hasan, read out recommendations of the workshop which called for solving problems that confronted the campaign, soliciting support for the coming round, holding trainings, and tightening coordination between the central management and Sudan’s states.

Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic have reported vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases this year. Sudan’s Ministry of Health stressed on August 9, after the first two cases of polio were confirmed, that the current situation requires concerted efforts at all levels to contain the epidemic.


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