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Minister: ‘All coronavirus patients in Sudan travelled from abroad’

April 1 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Yesterday's press conference by Minister of Health Akram El Tom (SUNA)
Yesterday's press conference by Minister of Health Akram El Tom (SUNA)

Federal Minister of Health Akram El Tom said in a press statement yesterday that all confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) patients within Sudan travelled from abroad. No transmissions have been recorded within Sudan. A member of the Sudan Armed Forces in South Kordofan may have been infected.

Spanish national Manuel Martinez is the first coronavirus patient in Sudan to fully recover from the disease. He left the Jabra Emergency Centre in Khartoum yesterday after a two weeks’ stay.

Martinez (47) arrived in Sudan on 16 March, travelling from the United Arab Emirates. Two days after his arrival he got a severe headache, of which he informed the United Nations doctor. A laboratory test confirmed a coronavirus infection.

Federal Minister of Health Akram El Tom said that the seventh confirmed coronavirus patient within Sudan is a foreigner who came to Sudan two weeks ago. He showed symptoms later and was subsequently isolated with all the people he had close contact with.

Of all seven cases, the first and the sixth patient died. After the release of Martinez four people are still in isolation.

Information Minister Feisal Mohamed Saleh confirmed that flights continue to be suspended. Cargo planes and special flights requested by embassies that wish to evacuate their nationals from Sudan are exempted.

The South Kordofan Ministry of Health reported yesterday that a member of the Sudan Armed Forces may have been infected.

Doctor Seifeldin El Hasan, Director General of the Health Ministry, said at a press conference in Kadugli that the suspected coronavirus patient travelled to Port Sudan and Wad Madani. A sample has been taken and sent to Khartoum.


The Ministry of Health appealed to all people to participate in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic by adhering to the health directives and instructions from the ministry to avoid infection with the virus by staying at home, not shaking hands, staying away from crowded places and washing hands. Doctors warn not to underestimate the disease, or not to adhere to the these guidelines.

Minister of Culture and Information Feisal Mohamed Saleh called upon the media to adhere to ethical and professional standards and to “bear national responsibilities” when reporting about coronavirus. He denounced media that provide a platform for persons who are sceptical about the existence of the coronavirus.

The minister added that the state might be obliged to take legal action against media “carrying out irresponsible practices that contribute to thwarting the state’s efforts o combat this fatal disease, and disseminate ignorance instead of enlightenment, raising awareness and knowledge”. He called this “a matter of national security”.

General Intelligence Service (GIS) Director General Lt Gen Jamaleldin Abdelhamid stated that GIS will be a genuine partner in all national efforts made to fight the coronavirus and to protect the Sudanese people from  a fatal pandemic. Today, a GIS aeroplane will, in coordination with the federal Ministry of Health, bring 50 tons of medicine and medical equipment to the five Darfur states, he announced.

Minister of Cabinet Affairs Omar Manis said the government received 400 face masks from the Chinese ambassador to Sudan yesterday. The ambassador stressed that the Chinese government decided to provide more medical aid to Sudan “in the next phase”.

The Let's Work for the Nation group launched an initiative to ward off the coronavirus epidemic in Khartoum, with the participation of all resistance committees in the neighbourhoods of Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North, ‘independent revolutionaries’, and the Sanabnaha (We’ll build it) group.

The activists will go to the Jackson Bus Station in the centre of Khartoum on Thursday to raise awareness about the seriousness of the disease, and distribute sterilisers, masks, and soap. Others will visit the more remote areas in Khartoum. The group aims to spread the campaign to the other states.

El Fasher

Shops in El Fasher in North Darfur are forced to close at 4 pm as a precautionary measure to combat the coronavirus. Pharmacies, groceries and shops that sell food are exempted. They have to close during the curfew from 6 pm until 6 am.

The North Darfur authorities also decided to close all state facilities, starting today.

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