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Sudan bars entry from coronavirus hotspots – Egypt border lockdown

March 13 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Sudan's Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Omar Manis (SUNA)
Sudan's Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Omar Manis (SUNA)

Sudan has suspended issuing visas to citizens of countries marked as major coronavirus (Covid-19) hotspots by the World Health Organization (WHO), and advised Sudanese against travelling to those countries unless in the case of force majeure. Flights to those countries have been suspended and the four crossing points between Sudan and Egypt will be closed ‘until further notice’.

The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reports that on Thursday, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Omar Manis issued a decision suspending issuing visas to citizens of Korea, China, Italy, Iran, France, Spain, Japan, and Egypt – countries listed by the WHO as being majorly affected.

The decision said concerned authorities should take action to prevent entry or issuance of visas to aliens coming from those coronavirus devastated countries. It also said officials working with state protocol should ensure that these measures are strictly applied in VIP Halls and the Presidential Halls in Khartoum.

Minister Manis also said in his decision that all Sudanese exit points and entry areas will be equipped with the required tools and means to help preparedness and prompt response to the virus “by putting in place integrated efforts that include the higher technical committee, the state government, and the border security units”.

It said medical services and army medical corps collaboration would be tightened and camps prepared as well as suitable facilities to converted into hosting wards in strategic locations to cover all geographical areas

The decision stipulates that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning should provide the funding for a national plan to combat the coronavirus and that a meeting involving the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Ministry of Finance be held to set plans for securing the funding needed.

The minister’s decision advised Sudanese against travelling to those countries listed unless in the case of force majeure, and also advised the public to avoid over-congested areas inside the country.

It also called on all the concerned ministries, particularly those of culture and information, to lead “a concerted campaign for dissemination of information on the hazard and peril involving the coronavirus plague”.

‘Sudan coronavirus-free’

As reported by Radio Dabanga yesterday, Sudan’s Ministry of Health insists that the coronavirus has not yet been identified in Sudan, citing that laboratory tests have confirmed this. On Thursday, the Sudan’s Civil Aviation Authority shut-down all direct flights from Egypt to El Fasher, Nyala, and El Geneina in Darfur by the Unamid peacekeeping mission.

Minister El Tom said that the ministers reviewing this situation on the coronavirus daily, and explained that through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Consulates, the ministry is following the situation of Sudanese abroad, including one case of infection in Kuwait and isolated students in the United Arab Emirates.

Radio Dabanga’s editorial independence means that we can continue to provide factual updates about political developments to Sudanese and international actors, educate people about how to avoid outbreaks of infectious diseases, and provide a window to the world for those in all corners of Sudan. Support Radio Dabanga for as little as €2.50, the equivalent of a cup of coffee.


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