Two more coronavirus cases registered in Sudan
Minister of Health Akram El Tom reported two new confirmed coronavirus cases in Sudan in a press statement yesterday. This brings the number of recorded Covid-19 cases in Sudan to 12. Two patients have died.
The two new patients are a 67-year-old foreigner and a girl, El Tom reported. The man arrived from India with Emirates airline on March 15. He showed symptoms on March 21. After he presented himself on April 1, a sample was taken which tested positive. He is receiving treatment at the Jabra Isolation Centre in Khartoum.
The 11-year-old girl was infected by contact with case number 9. A sample taken on April 3 tested positive. She is not showing any symptoms but is receiving care at the Jabra Isolation Centre.
The minister expressed his concern about the number of suspected cases and local transmission of the virus. He appealed to all those who travelled back to Sudan when the airport was reopened for a short period to present themselves to health authorities for examination to ensure that they are free of infection.
He stressed the need for a ban on all gatherings and travel within Sudan and abroad. He apologised to all the Sudanese stranded abroad for not allowing their return. He explained that it is impossible to receive them in the isolation centres, and there is a lack of protective aids, even for medical staff.
On Sunday, the High Committee for Health Emergencies held its periodic meeting at the Republican Palace in Khartoum, chaired by professor Siddig Tawir, member of the Sovereign Council.
In a press statement after the meeting, Tawir said that the High Committee prepares more places in the isolation centres to accommodate Sudanese stranded in Egypt.
He warned against the spread of the virus if people don’t commit to stop attending or organising rallies, stay inside during the night, and stop travelling within Sudan.
The committee supervised the transfer of 3,450 Darfuri university students from various places in Sudan to Darfur between March 24 and April 1. The committee also instructed the Student Welfare Fund to reopen the dormitories for university students who have difficulty in moving to their states. These students must be allowed to return to the dormitories after showing their university card.
Tawir confirmed that the committee will study the plans for a complete lockdown during its meeting tomorrow.
Last week, Radio Dabanga published an op-ed by Cameron Hudson, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Africa Centre. He stated that “given the almost total lack of testing and near-absent health care system, that figure [of confirmed cases in Sudan] is most assuredly grossly underestimated”.
“Last week alone, more than three hundred Sudanese suspected by health officials as having the virus escaped from government-administered quarantine facilities, while one hundred Sudanese nationals returning from Egypt were reportedly able to evade health screenings at the border”, he said.
He summarised that Sudan is “in perhaps one of the worst situations anywhere in the world to mobilize an effective national response because of grinding poverty, lack of household savings to offset lost income, lack of access to clean water, proper sanitation, and health supplies, and millions living in displaced persons camps across Darfur and the Two Areas where Covid-19 could rip through with devastating effect.”
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