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NUP leader El Mahdi transferred to Emirates as COVID-19 cases rise in Sudan

November 3 - 2020 KHARTOUM
El Sadig El Mahdi President of the National Umma Party (Social media)
El Sadig El Mahdi President of the National Umma Party (Social media)

El Sadig El Mahdi, President of the National Umma Party (NUP), was transferred to a hospital in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday for treatment after he tested positive for COVID-19 last week. El Mahdi’s transfer comes as Sudan’s Ministry of Health deals with a second wave of COVID-19 infections in the country.

Minister of Health Osama Abdelrahim held a meeting with the High Committee for Health Emergencies yesterday to discuss the second wave and other health issues following a sudden increase in positive tests in Sudan over the weekend and a rise in cases across the world, especially in Europe.

In a press statement afterwards, Abdelrahim said that the ministry is not inclined to impose a restriction of movement or complete lockdown at the current stage of the pandemic. He added that the likelihood of installing a lockdown depends on the spread of the virus and the ability of society to deal with the pandemic

The minister called on people to adhere to health requirements, especially the obligation to wear face masks in public and to maintain social distance as much as possible. To facilitate this, Abdelrahim said that the ministry aims to provide a large number of masks for healthcare institutions and elsewhere.

The Ministry of Health reported an increase of 47 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, raising the total amount of cases to 13.866. The vast majority of new infections, 43, were registered in Khartoum whilst two new cases were discovered in El Gedaref and one on Sennar.

Last week, the Ministry of Health of Khartoum state announced that it had extended COVID-19 testing following a recent rise in cases, while haemorrhagic and Rift Valley fever cases are still on the rise as well.

Owing to COVID-19, clashes, and climate shocks, Sudan suffers from widespread food shortages according to Gilles Carbonnier, the vice president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “Communities are caught between extremes as clashes, droughts, and floods rob people of their homes and livelihoods again and again,” he said in a statement on Friday, “a crisis made more complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, price inflation, and a shortage of basic commodities.”

El Sadig El Mahdi

NUP leader El Mahdi has been transferred to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for treatment yesterday. After testing positive for COVID-19 last Thursday, El Mahdi was first taken to the Alya Hospital in Khartoum. From there, he was flown to the UAE in a private plane.

Maryam El Sadig, vice president of the NUP and El Mahdi’s daughter, announced in a statement on Monday that she has tested positive for COVID-19 as well, making her the 21st member of the family to test positive.

Last week, Radio Dabanga reported that El Mahdi tested positive along with a senior advisor of the prime minister, his office manager, the governor of the Central Bank of Sudan, and a number of his children and grandchildren.

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