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Khartoum state COVID-19 cases on the rise

January 8 - 2021 KHARTOUM
Secondary school students social distance in during exams (Social media)
Secondary school students social distance in during exams (Social media)

The Ministry of Health in Khartoum recorded 16 deaths and 95 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday in the state, bringing the cumulative number of deaths to 778 and number of cases to 18,343.

The Director General of the Ministry of Health in Khartoum state, Mahjoub Menoufeli, who presented the periodic report at the Corona Emergency Centre yesterday, said that Khartoum locality recorded the highest number of cases in the state. The total number of cases in Khartoum locality now stands at 5,623.

He said that there is complete coordination between the Ministries of Health and Education in Khartoum, through the High Committee for Health Emergencies, in accordance with health requirements to prepare the start of the final exam classes* on Sunday January 10.

He warned school administrations and families against breaching or not adhering to health directives, which include social distancing in classrooms and dividing students into two groups that will have lessons on alternative days. The opening of the schoolyear was postponed until December last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic across the whole of Sudan.

If health directives are breached, the ministry would be forced to recommend closing schools again, said Menoufeli. He mentioned that his ministry had equipped a department at the El Amin Hamed Children's Hospital in Omdurman in anticipation of an increase of cases in schools.

Sudan’s Civil Aviation Authority has extended the ban on entry of passengers from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and South Africa into Sudan until January 13. This extends the existing ban that has been in place since December 22, imposed following the emergence of new, more infectious, strains of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom and in South Africa.

Since January 1, the Sudanese Ministry of Health has not published any country-wide reports about the number of cases of COVID-19. Cases and death reports are being published by individual states regularly.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) considers COVID-19 a national security threat. “The new cases announced by the ministry in its regular reports do not reflect the real epidemiological situation”, the SPA said in a statement on November 22. “The cases registered in private laboratories are not included in the official figures, while the government has no plans to correct this.”

* Final exam classes are eighth grade in basic schools and (for the Sudan Certificate) third grade in secondary schools.

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