Government to impose heavy fines on Covidiots

As citizens continue to flout Covid-19 measures, the National Task-Force on COVID-19 has announced heavy fines for anyone who doesn’t comply with the strict guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization.

So far, the Coronavirus has claimed more than 100 lives, forcing the Ministry of Health and the National Task-Force on COVID-19 to impose additional lockdowns as preventive measures to counter the spread of the virus.

Press Statement

New Restrictions and Penalties to Enforce Public Compliance with Measures to Reduce COVID-19 Spread

Whereas, the COVID-19 has been declared as a Pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Taskforce on Coronavirus Pandemic issued the Public Order No. 01/2021 dated 3 February 2021 to effect the partial lockdown measures, which will remain in force up to the 3rd March 2021.

Whereas, to enforce the National COVID-19 Guidelines and partial lockdown measures, the National Taskforce has considered it necessary to take further measures to prevent wider spread of COVID-19 across the country.

In view of the above, the National Taskforce is hereby once again putting in place the following measures:

• Extending the partial lockdown for additional one month starting from 3nd March to 3rd April 2021, subject to review.

• Warning the Public to stop receiving dead bodies in numbers at the airport, receptions and burials. This should only be attended to by not more than twenty immediate relatives:

• Only authorized health facilities are allowed to use the approved antigen- based rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) for screening purposes. Meanwhile, interested facilities are advised to apply to the NTF for authorization.

• Warning all the public and private health facilities not to admit any COVID- 19 patient or suspect. They should instate alert the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) by calling free toll, 6666;

• Directing Juba City Council and other town municipal councils to ensure that traders, hotels, customers and the general public comply with environmental cleaning, hygiene and sanitation, COVID-19 Guidelines and lockdown measures; and

• Directing Civil Aviation administration to assign more personnel to enforce COVID-19 measures at the entrance and within the airport to ensure all travelers comply with civil aviation safety and COVID-19 protocols.

The National Taskforce issues this Order to effect the following restrictions and measures for enforcing the COVID-19 protocols and partial lockdown measures in force, along with other South Sudan Panel Code 2008 that shall be applicable on whoever:

(a) Violates the guidelines banning funeral rites, reception, transport and burial of dead bodies.

(b) Does not comply with infection prevention and control measures at public places such as health facilities, airports, markets, hotels, restaurants, shops, tea places, public and private institutions,

(c) Transports people in public or private vehicles, boda-bodas and rakshas (rickshas) at more than half-capacity.

(d) Does not wear facemasks and observe social distancing measures in public places, vehicles, boda-bodas and rakshas (rickshas).

(e) Crew or passenger does not comply with precautionary measures at bus stations, airports, riverports and borders.

(f) Smuggles persons across borders or helping with illegal entry in to South Sudan territories.

(g) Does not comply with closure of learning institutions, sports activities, social events, places of worship, bars, nightclubs or other places that attract gatherings

(h) Disseminates false information or data on social media or misinformation related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

South Sudan’s veteran politician Joseph Ukel succumbs to COVID-19

Veteran politician Joseph Ukel Abang receives treatment after contracting Covid-19 | Photo: Thessherald

A South Sudanese veteran politician and freedom fighter, Joseph Ukel Abang has succumbed to COVID-19 in the capital, Juba, his family confirmed in a statement on Friday.

“Rest in peace, uncle, you’re a hero and freedom fighter who undoubtedly contributed to the liberation struggle during the country’s years of liberation struggle for independence,” said James Ukel Abang.

Who’s Joseph Ukel Abang?

Joseph Ukel Abango (born 1939), commonly known as Joseph Ukel, is a veteran-politician of what is now South Sudan and an educationalist by profession.

Professional career

Joseph Ukel was born in January 1939 in Achot, a village close to the town bau in Bahr el Ghazal, when the Southern part of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was still isolated from the North due to the Closed District Ordinance. Ukel went to the catholic Elementary School between 1950 and 1954 in Mbili, southeast of Wau. When Sudan gained independence from the Condominium colonial rule in 1956, Ukel was attending the government Intermediate School in the Equatorian town of Maridi, where he graduated in 1958.

Staying in Maridi, he qualified as a teacher after completing a training course at the government-run Institute of Education between 1959 and 1962. The same year he started his first teaching-post in the Equatorian town of Kapoeta.

When the Anyanya rebellion escalated in Equatoria, Ukel moved to Northern Sudan, where he first worked as a schoolteacher in the Gezira area and then continued his studies at the University of Khartoum . He received a BA in English in 1972 from there.

When the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972 ended the Anyanya rebellion and granted Southern Sudan autonomy, Ukel moved back to Bahr el Ghazal, where he taught English at Rumbek Secondary School. In 1975 he took up further studies at the University of Edinburgh , receiving a postgraduate diploma in teaching English as a foreign language a year later. From 1976 to 1977 he returned to his home area to teach at Mbili Girls Secondary School, holding the posts of deputy headmaster and headmaster, respectively.

Political career

In 1978 Ukel joined politics by contesting and winning his home constituency of Wau East in the elections to the Second People’s Regional Assembly in Juba . [1] He was re-elected in 1980 as a political ally of the Southern Front leader Abel Alier and appointed regional Minister of Culture and Information as Alier assumed the President of the High Executive Council. When Alier lost this office in October 1981, Ukel became the secretary for the publicity committee of the “Council for the Unity of the Southern Sudan” (CUSS) which advocated against the redivision of the South.

After the fall of Gaafar Nimeyri ’s regime in April 1985, Ukel was a founding member of the “Southern Sudan Political Association’s” (SSPA) political party and in 1986 became its Parliamentary group leader in the national Constituent Assembly of Omdurman.

In 1988, the SSPA joined other Southern and Nuba parties in a coalition called the United Sudan African Parties (USAP) that took the lead in organising dialogues with the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). [3] Ukel became a minister of local government in the final coalition government of prime-minister Sadiq al Mahdi (25 April – 30 June 1989).

After the June 1989 coup, USAP was banned like all other parties and went underground. Ukel helped to form the domestic arm of the exiled National Democratic Alliance (NDA), an umbrella of parties and forces opposed to the “National Salvation Revolution” rule of General Omar al-Bashir , and was appointed its secretary general in 1992, while still working as a teacher of English language.

He was USAP chairman

Hilary Logali passed away in 1998, Ukel became his successor. During this period, he was repeatedly detained by al-Bashir’s government, the last time between December 2000 and October 2001 on charges of treason and sedition.

Ukel and Alier participated and mediated in the peace talks between the SPLM and al-Bashir’s government in Naivasha, Kenya, which led to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. Under its power-sharing agreement, USAP was allocated ten seats in the National Assembly and Ukel was appointed Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Government of National Unity.

In its campaign for the 2010 general elections, USAP defined as one of its main goals “unity in diversity” as opposed to separation, which it emphasized by the choice of Khartoum as its headquarters.

It failed to win any parliamentary seats, complaining about illicit actions against its campaigning. Nevertheless, Ukel was appointed the Minister for Higher Education in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS).

After the independence of South Sudan in July 2011, Ukel was appointed Minister of General Education and served in this office until President Salva Kiir dismissed the whole cabinet in August 2013.

In the 2014 IGAD -led peace talks with the rebel SPLM-IO , Ukel was part of the government delegation, representing smaller opposition parties. [9] In April 2017, Ukel as USAP chairman was one of nine candidates picked by the government to represent South Sudan at the East African Legislative Assembly.

The same month, he was selected by Kiir as a member of the steering committee for the National Dialogue. [11] However, he was not elected by the Transitional National Legislative Assembly in Juba in August 2017.

In early 2018, a power struggle between Ukel and Elia Lomuro over control of the political parties alliance was reported. On 12 September 2018, the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) was signed in Addis, Ukel was one of the six signatories representing the Umbrella Coalition of Political Parties.

However, when the National Dialogue Steering Committee held a regional conference in Wau at the end of February 2019, Ukel reportedly walked out after not been given the chance to address the gathering and resigned from the National Dialogue.

In August of 2019, Ukel was reportedly arrested in Wau on allegations of supporting the rebel SPLM-IO and put under house arrest in Juba by the National Security Service (NSS). Two months later, in Mid-October, he was released from his confinements and arrived in Khartoum ” to seek medical treatment “.

Original source: Wikipedia 

Mother of a child born with imperforate anus appeals for assistance

A single mother, whose baby was born with an anal malformation also known as imperforate anus, has appealed to the public to contribute approximately 70,000 SSP needed as medical bills.

The mother, who lives in a suburb of Juba, says she had difficulty caring for the disabled child on her own as there was no free medical intervention from nearby hospitals.

South Sudan’s conflict, which first erupted in mid-December 2013, has posed a major threat to the health sector, leaving millions of people vulnerable in the country.

More details on SSBC: http://bit.ly/3pGwq2e

What causes an imperforate anus in children?

Imperforate anus occurs when the anal opening is absent or not in a normal position. It is a birth defect caused by the failure of normal development of the anal area. Sometimes a fistula (abnormal passage) is present between the bowel and the vagina in girls, or between the bowel and the urinary tract in boys.

There are three types of imperforate anus:

• High type – no anal opening is present and the rectum ends above the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis (hip bones). These children may have a fistula.

• Intermediate type – the end of the rectum and anal canal extend through the muscle at the bottom of the pelvis. These children may have a fistula.

• Low type – the rectum ends below the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis. There is often an anal opening present, but it is in an abnormal position or is covered by a membrane.

South Sudan contracts Italian company to build slaughterhouses in Juba

To boost meat production in the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan and an Italian company signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see Architettura and Design Construction build slaughterhouses across the country.

On Monday, representatives from the company met the ministers of Livestock and Fisheries Onyoti Adigo Nyikwac, and Trade and Industry Kuol Athian, in Juba to discuss the importance of that project.

Speaking to the press on Monday, the undersecretary in the trade ministry, Agak Achuil Lual, said they are in consultations with the company to see how the project will improve meat production across the country.

“We are going to draw up a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), after that the terms will be turned into an agreement and if it accepted, then that kind of agreement will be translated into a contract for them to build the slaughterhouses,” Achuil said.

He said the implementation of the project will be carried out by the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries once the processes are completed and his ministry will be heavily involved in meat exportation.

Rolando Bonazza Architetto, the Architettura and Design Construction Company representative, said the mandate of the company is to create an opportunity for South Sudan to export locally produced meat to the international market.

“We want to establish a long-lasting relationship with countries working within a very specific case. I thank the delegations from the ministries of South Sudan and the South Sudanese people for the warm welcome they gave us and we will put our people in connection with the state of South Sudan to achieve an opportunity together in business partnership between Italy and South Sudan,” Bonazza said.

Kiir’s office denies one of its aides, Nhial Deng contracted COVID-19

Minister of Presidential Affairs Hon. Nhial Deng | Photo: File

The Presidential Press Unit has denied speculative reports suggesting that the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial had contracted COVID-19 virus.

“The Media Department in the Office of the President has learned of a false news article trending on social media published by Sudan post website on 12th February 2021 which states that, the Minister of Presidential Affairs Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, Executive Director in the Office of the President Hon. James Deng Wal along with unnamed SSBC journalist attached to the Office of the President have tested positive for coronavirus.”

The Office of the President noted the report, speculated on Facebook and local media outlets, was incorrect and carried no concrete evidence.

“This Press statement is to clarify that this news article published by Sudan post website on 12th February 2021 is untrue and totally unfounded. The Minister of Presidential Affairs Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, Executive Director in the Office of the President Hon. James Deng Wal tested for Covid-19 and their results came out negative on February 11th ,2021.

“Only covid-19 results of the Press Secretary in the Office of the President Ateny Wek Ateny and 3 Junior staff [members] came out positive in the entire Office of the President.”

“In addition, No SSBC Journalist in the Office of the President tested Positive of Coronavirus. The Office of the President is wishing all the Covid 19 positive colleagues a quick recovery.”

Communication from The Presidency No. Forty-Two (43)

The High-Level Taskforce on COVID-19 Pandemic Friday 1st May 2020 Juba, South Sudan.

May 1, 2020 (Thessherald)–The High-Level Taskforce on COVID-19 Pandemic held its 40th Meeting on the afternoon of Friday 1st May 2020 under the Chairmanship of H. E. Dr Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, the First Vice President and Deputy Chairman of the High-Level Taskforce on COVID-19 Pandemic.

The High-Level Taskforce Coronavirus (COVID-19) was briefed on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in South Sudan, the Region and the Globe by the Honourable Minister of Health.

The Honourable Minister informed the Taskforce that, the Public Health Laboratory released one Hundred and Thirty-Eight results. Of these, ten (10) cases were confirmed positive while one hundred and twenty eight (128) tests returned negative.

The confirmed cases were:
two truck drivers at Nimule Border Crossing, 6 contacts of case number six (6) and two (2) domestic travelers planning to travel to their home state.

South Sudan now has Forty-Five (45) confirmed cases.

The High-Level Taskforce directs to waive the requirement for COVID-19 testing of all Humanitarian Aid workers on official travel to the states.

• All travelers, however, must observe a 14-day-quarantine prior to travel.

• Authorised health workers from the Ministry of Health must be allowed free regular access to the quarantine facility.

The High-Level Taskforce welcomes the work of the Justice Institutions and Rule of Law on the decongestion of prisons and detention centres, and urges the committee to expedite the process.

The High-Level Taskforce on Coronavirus (COVID- 19) Pandemic remains seized of the situation.

‘South Sudan has no confirmed case of Corona Virus disease’ – Machar

Press Release 
First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar attending an interactive Video Conference organised by IGAD /Photo: PPU

April 1, 2020 (Thessherald)–The High Level Taskforce would like to inform the general public that all the 18 samples collected since the outbreak of COVID-19, have tested negative for COVID- 19 by Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). There is no COVID-19 outbreak in South Sudan as we speak. I am urging people to ignore circulating rumors about the outbreak of the deadly virus in the country. People should not panic and be scared of the rumors being spread by social and local media.

The Government with support from partners has put in place measures to identify, detect, confirm and respond to a case of COVID-19 in South Sudan. As a country, we have established an isolation and a treatment centre, trained rapid response teams and frontline health workers in readiness to respond to possible cases.

In addition, we have also established screening points at border crossings, active surveillance at community and health facilities and have been conducting community awareness with support of partners. “The Government re-iterates its call to the general public to cooperate with the guidelines issued by the High Level Taskforce to prevent the importation of COVID-19 to the country.

COVID-19 is a dangerous disease; however, it is possible to prevent. I urge all South Sudanese who experience signs and symptoms like high fever, cough, and shortness of breath, to call the toll-free hotline 6666 to seek help.

The Government of the Republic of South Sudan is working closely with partners, to keep the people in South Sudan safe. Thank You.


First Vice H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, PhD President 3132020 First Vice President Deputy Chairman of the High Level Taskforce on CVID-19 Pandemic.

‘No more movements between camps,’ UNHCRH in Kenya steps up tough measures

Emblem of UNHCR/Photo: UN

(Thessherald)–In the face of the ongoing concerns about the spread of Coronavirus, UNHCR in Kenya has implemented strict measures, restricting unnecessary movements of refugees, asylum-seekers and other persons of concern.

Information for Refugees and Asylum-Seekers regarding Corona virus

“The Government of Kenya has announced various measures to prevent the further spread of Coronavirus. UNHCR has therefore implemented precautionary measures to prevent any further spread of the virus and in order to protect refugees, asylum-seekers and other persons of concern from becoming infected with the virus.”

These are in line with the directives of the Government of Kenya and include:

• Services at UNHCR: No reception, interviews or counselling will take place at UNHCR offices.

• Voluntary repatriation: All movements of persons of concern wishing to return to their countries have been suspended.

• Resettlement: All movements of refugees departing to resettlement countries have been suspended.

• Movements between Kakuma,
Dadaab and Nairobi: Refugee Affairs Secretariat has suspended the issuance of movement passes. Hence, no movements take place between Kakuma, Dadaab and Nairobi until further notice.

No confirmed case of COV-19 in Uganda – Ministry Health 

(Thessherald)–In response to today’s rumors about COVID-19, the Ugandan Ministry of Health has strongly dismissed the reports posted on social media and advised members of the public not to lend plausibility or trust any media outlets.

“The Ministry of Health’s attention has been drawn to social media posts making rounds of an article stating that “Uganda has confirmed a COVID-19 case” from the website http://ucrtv.com/uganda-confirms-first-case-of-coronavirus/,” said the Ministry of Health. 

The statement urged the public to ignore allegations aimed at raising fears among citizens.

“The Ministry of Health would like to inform the general public to disregard this baseless rumor spread by individuals with ill intentions intending to malice the health sector’s efforts to prevent the importation of COVID 19.”

“To date, a total of 2,278 travelers including Ugandans and others travelling back home have been identified as high-risk and identified for purposes of follow up and institutional quarantine. So far, samples from 54 persons who presented with signs and symptoms similar to that of COVID-19 have been tested. Out of these, 52 tested negative while 2 are pending results from Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). As of today, Uganda has NO confirmed case of COVID-19. 

“We appeal to the general public to always verify information from the Ministry of Health and please STOP spreading false rumors.”

Kenya announces two new Covid-19 cases, declares tough measures

Kenyan President Uhuru/ Photo: File

(Thessherald)–Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced two more cases on Sunday, just two days after the country declared its first COVID-19 in Nairobi.

In a televised speech, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued the following tough measures.

  1. Restrict travel to Kenya from all countries with reported Corona cases
  2. Only Kenyan citizens to be allowed into Kenya provided they go to self quarantine or govt facility. In force for 30 days
  3. All persons who’ve come to Kenya in last 14 days must self quarantine
  4. Schools suspended with immediate effect. Day schools closed from tomorrow, boarding schools by Wednesday. Universities and colleges by Friday
  5. Govt and companies to allow employees to work from home except essential services
  6. Use cashless transactions like Mpesa and cards. Appeals for reduced transaction costs from the providers
  7. Avoid congregations, weddings, funerals
  8. Avoid shopping places and minimize congestion in public transport
  9. Limit visitors to hospitals
  10. Hospitals and malls encouraged to provide water, soap, sanitizers and ensure regular cleaning and disinfecting places
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