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Investigations start in North Darfur after dozens of elderly people die

May 22 - 2020 EL FASHER
El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, by night (RD file photo)
El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, by night (RD file photo)

The full lockdown of El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, imposed after dozens of elderly people died since last week, entered its third day on Thursday. A number of Sudanese states have extended measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. In East Darfur, a doctor suspected of being infected was evicted from the house he rented. Sudanese refugees in South Sudan demand more soap and other materials that can protect them against Covid-19 infection.

On Wednesday the North Darfur authorities reported 79 deaths, especially among the elderly, within a week, in addition to the emergence of cases of loss of smell and taste.

There is no medical evidence yet of any connection between the higher mortality rates in El Fasher and the coronavirus pandemic. North Darfur has recorded 12 confirmed Covid-19 cases so far.

The Covid-19 Coordination Team in North Darfur stressed the need to continue the lockdown of El Fasher.

Doctor Suleiman Idris, Director General of the North Darfur Ministry of Health announced the start of broad investigations among the communities in the state community in order to understand the sudden deaths of many elderly people in the state capital since last week.

The investigations will cover the entire month of May, he said. The investigation results, owned by the federal and state health ministries, will be made known to all Sudanese “on a large scale”.

Covid-19 measures extended

The Sudanese Ministry of Health reported yesterday that 410 new Covid-19 patients were recorded during the last three days. This brings the total number of registered coronavirus cases in the country since mid-March to 3,138. The vast majority, 2,553 patients, live in Khartoum.

The authorities of South Darfur renewed the comprehensive lockdown in Nyala locality for another ten days, starting on Friday.

All markets in the state have been closed, and gatherings and Eid prayers in mosques and squares are prohibited.

Sheikan locality in North Kordofan also banned group prayers during the Eid El Fitir this weekend, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Sudan’s Northern State extended the lockdown for another ten days, including the continued closure of all markets, starting on Thursday. Congregational Eid El Fitir prayers are prohibited.

Transport has also been banned. In particular gold miners have been instructed to stay at their accommodations, and not to leave the state to return home for the Eid celebrations.

Evicted

The Ed Daein Resistance Committees Coordination in East Darfur has offered its apologies to doctor Mohamed Mahmoud, the state's Director of Curative Medicine, for his eviction from the houses he rented in the town.

Mahmoud had quarantined himself at home after he suspected being infected with Covid-19. His condition improved after ten days, yet because of delayed test results, he continued his confinement. When the owner of the house heard about the reason, he told the doctor to leave immediately.

When Mahmoud wanted to rent a room in another house, he was refused by the residents.

The members of the Ed Daein resistance committees, active in the neighbourhoods in the East Darfur capital, condemned the silence of the state authorities, in particular the Ministry of Health.  

In a statement on Thursday, they said that the officials who failed to help the doctor, who was evicted twice while being ill, must be held accountable.

The resistance committees further suggested converting the premises of the dissolved National Congress Party in Ed Daein into an isolation centre for medical staff.

Soap

Refugees from the Nuba Mountains living in the Yida Refugee Camp in South Sudan, complain about the lack of sterilisers and protective equipment against the coronavirus.

Each refugee in the camp receives one piece of soap a month, they said.

They appealed to the humanitarian organisations to provide more soap, sterilisers and protective equipment to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 in the camp.


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