Lawmaker blames botched COVID-19 response on gov’t officials

Bor Gatwech Kuany, member of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly/ Photo: His Facebook Profile
Bor Gatwech, member of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly/ Photo: Facebook profile picture

May 21, 2020 (Thessherald)–A member of the incumbent Transitional National Legislative Assembly, Bor Gatwech Kuany has blamed political leaders for failing to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic by not providing much needed medical facilities in the country.

“This week, Juba situation with Coronavirus is tense. Many people are being confirmed positive while several people have died. The ignorance that there is no COVID-19 is fading. People are now worried while the government is ill prepared in its respond. So far, there are only few hundreds of beds with dozen of ventilators at both Juba teaching hospital and Dr. JOHN Garang’ Infectious Disease Unit.”

Bor explained that one of the patients with COVID-19 died two days ago as a result of not getting an effective ventilator.

“In fact, some one passed away two days ago simply because all the ventilators were occupied. No one nose could have been taken out so his nose could be fix in to get some oxygen.”

“The single centre designated for treatment is being expanded to more few beds. But the spread of the virus is proving to be much more faster than any initiative being made by the government to contain it so far.”

The lawmaker pointed out that due to ignorance, members of the public decided to violate the guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization, which led to the spread of the disease.

“The government response to contain the virus by enforcing social distancing, washing hands and so on have miserably failed because of ignorance. It seems to have left it to deal with the public naturally since most of the leaders that were engaged in combating the virus are now under quarantine.”

“The situation in Juba now with Coronavirus is like pre-December 2013. At that time, people knew the war was looming but have no power to stop it except the leaders. That war eventually killed around 300,000 people, two percent of the country population though the leaders had the capacity to avert and save the lives of the people. With current situation, the leaders also have the capacity to help save lives if they properly plan, decide, put money and make the law enforcement agencies enforce their directives.”

“According to WHO estimates, in any infection, the fatality rate of the corona virus is around 3%. So if the whole country is allowed to smoke the virus as the situation seems to be, the people who will die will be more than those killed by our last civil war.”

“Like pre-2013, every one now in Juba is worried of the looming Coronavirus catastrophe. Since the government is unable to enforce disciplinary measures to contain the virus, every one will be left to pass through it and either survive or pass on. If you survive, then you will be part of the herd immunity like after 2013 war, all those who survived the war became part of the revitalized government. The bad part of it is that Coronavirus war is different from our political war: it doesn’t discriminate. Though our last civil war was killing mostly only those who are not zol kebiir, Coronavirus attack every one.”

He recommended the following preventive measures that, if observed , would contain the spread of the virus.

Our leaders still have the last chance to save our country. If I were the President, I would lock down the country. But before that, give out any money we have so we can do few things:

• Expand treatment centres and fill them with ventilators and medicines. We can convert the redundant church and mosque buildings to be treatment centers.

• Anybody who is confirmed positive wether symptomatic or asymptomatic should not be allowed to roam around or be with his or her uninfected family or community. The government should immediately take care of them, put them in a place being monitored by the government.

• Give six month salaries to all government employees and pay any arrears the government owe to any employees

• Identify and provide food to the most vulnerable like those in the POC and any other group.

• Deploy all our security forces to enforce the lockdown all across the country.

• Ban any communal burials or gatherings around the dead. All people who died of Coronavirus should be buried by health professionals. People who died with other illnesses should be buried by only close few relatives. No funerals to be conducted at all until Corona is defeated. No transportation of the dead to the villages or ancestral lands.

One comment

  • Great input by Bor Gatwech Kuany.

    I’m sure South Sudan government still have a chance to implement the international policies devised to tackle the COVID-19. The tremendous part of this deadly disease is that it doesn’t discriminating people on their status. It kills the poorest and the richest. The total lockdown can be imposed, law enforcers to deploy, food distribution to the needy people. Travel ban by implementing curfew from 7pm-6:30am.

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