Vice-President Rebecca Nyandeng tests positive for COVID-19

Vice-President for Gender and Youth Cluster, Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior tests positive for COVID-19 | File

South Sudan’s Vice-President for Gender and Youth Cluster, Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus upon arrival from Nairobi, Kenya, her office announced on Thursday.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, the Executive Director in the office the office of the Vice-President, Chaat Paul Nul, confirmed that the South Sudanese official is in stable condition are being quarantined at home.

According tO the World Health Organization (WHO), from 3 January 2020 to March 17, 2021, there have been 9,613 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 104 deaths in South Sudan.

Nyandeng was appointed last year as Vice-President for Gender and Youth Cluster in accordance with the implementation of the 2018 Peace Agreement.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health and the National Task-Force on COVID-19 issued a statement extending the ongoing partial lockdown until April 3 as a countermeasure to curb the spread of coronavirus cases in the country.

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.

WHO donates medical kits for flood-affected communities in Jonglei

Health workers offloading emergency medical kits donated by the World Health Organization |Photo: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated sets of emergency medical kits to its partner agencies operating in Jonglei, one of the hardest-hit states in the country.

The medical assistance was channeled through Christian Mission for Development (CMD), Medicair South Sudan, and Health Action for Africa running Health Cluster in Manyo, Canal Piji and Bor counties.

Since last year, nearly 20,000 people have been affected and displaced to neighboring areas due to worst flooding.

The affected people are in urgent need of food, livelihood support, emergency shelter as well as non-food items (ES/NFI), water, sanitation and hygiene, health and protection services.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 2. 7 million people are expected to face severe food insecurity in the next few months, posing an alarming situation in a country still facing other challenges.

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.”

Number of COVID-19 cases passes 2,000 marks, 8 new cases recorded

July 7, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Ministry of Health has registered 8 new cases of the Coronavirus Pandemic, that brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases to 2,106 in the country.

“In the last 24 hours, 103 samples were tested and results released. Of these, eight (8) tested positive for COVID19. Out of the new cases identified, 7 are male adults and 1 is a female adult.”

Overall COVID-19 cases status as of 07/07/2020

• Total number of tests performed to date 11,477.

• New cases confirmed in the last 24 hours: 8

• Cumulative number of cases confirmed to date: 2,106

• Total cases currently under follow up/active cases: 1,112

• Number of cases that are severe in the IDU: None

• Number of cases that are in critical condition in the IDU: None

• Number of cases recovered: 954

• Number of new death in the last 24 hours:

• Cumulative number of death: 40

Safety Guidelines recommended by MoH.

“The Ministry of Health is conducting tracing of individuals who had contact with the COVID19 cases. The government urges the public to strictly observe the rules of social distancing and other public health measures declared by the President of the Republic of South Sudan and High Level Task-Force.”

“Report any suspected case to nearest health facility or call to toll free number: 6666. Continue to observe the instructions of Health Authorities particularly washing hands regularly with water and soap; maintaining physical distance from other people (at least keep 2 meters (6 feet) distance between two individuals) and mandatory facemask or cloth face coverings in public.”

S. Sudan records 62 cases, bringing the tally to 1,755

June 14, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan has registered 62 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the accumulative number of confirmed cases to 1,755 in the country.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health announced on Sunday 3 new deaths over the past 24 hours, raising the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 30.

“The Ministry of Health is conducting tracing of individuals who had contact with the COVID19 cases,” said Richard Laku, COVID-19 Incident Manager, MOH.

The Ministry calls on members of the public to strictly adhere to WHO’s recommended guidelines and keep them at their fingertips for their safety.

“The government urges the public to strictly observe the rules of social distancing and other public health measures declared by the President of the Republic of South Sudan and High Level Task-Force.”

South Sudan records 92 COVID-19 cases, two more deaths

COVID-19 Update

May 23, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan’s Ministry of Health has today announced 92 new cases of coronavirus, raising the country’s tally to 655, with two death cases linked to COVID-19.

So far, only six patients have fully recovered since the outbreak of the disease in the world’s youngest nation.

Earlier this month, global researchers issued an alert, warning that South Sudan is teetering on the edge of becoming a new hub of the virus, if stringent measures are not taken.

The country has one of the weakest health systems on record, as a result of years of violence with over 7 million people facing food insecurity.

It is also believed that the recent presidential order, which eased preventive measures, has exacerbated the situation.

S. Sudan could be hit hardest by COVID-19, hundreds may die in June: Researcher

May 14, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan, the world youngest nation could be one of the hardest-hit countries and an epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic with increased mortality rates in June, if no preventive measures taken, said a global researcher in an op-ed article.

Naomi Pendle, a Research Fellow based at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa argues that, if COVID-19 case trends continue to rise as seen in other sub-Saharan countries, hundreds of thousands people may lose their lives in June.

“Covid-19 is highly likely to cause significant mortality in South Sudan. If the spread of the virus follows patterns that have occurred elsewhere in Africa, cases in South Sudan could be in the hundreds of thousands in June. The country has a young population, and thus, like elsewhere in East Africa.”

Naomi projected that the COVID-19 pandemic may co-occur with other preventable diseases that are prevalent in South Sudan.

“Yet, much is not yet known about how Covid-19 will interact with other comorbidities that are prevalent in South Sudan such as malaria, hepatitis, yellow fever, measles and malnutrition.”

“The lockdown measures imposed on 28 April and partially lifted on 7 May effectively import into South Sudan the approach to the virus that has been taken by much of Europe, and ignore alternative strategies that might be feasible in this context,” said the Researcher in a statement obtained by The South Sudan Herald.

Naomi stressed that in the absence of county commissioners and state governments, the implementation of preventive measures is likely to suffer setbacks.

“While the transitional government is still being appointed, there are no country commissioners and serious ambiguities over sub-national authority. Any implementation of lockdown is likely to be piecemeal, focused on the poor, and aggravate already-existing state–society tensions.”

South Sudan’s Ministry of Health has today confirmed the country’s first COVID-19-related death and a total of 231 confirmed cases.

Presidency cautions journalists against unethical reporting on COVID-19

President Salva Kiir Mayardit
President Salva Kiir addressing a news conference in the capital, Juba/Photo: File

May 13, 2020 (Thessherald)–The High-Level Task Force on COVID-19 has warned of punitive measures against some media outlets that publish details of COVID-19 patients, and urged them to desist from non-professional reporting practices.

In a strongly worded statement, the High-Level Task Forces denounced such practices and urged the news outlets to strictly adhere to principles of ethical journalism.

“The High-Level Taskforce strongly denounces the wave of information and disinformation around COVID- 19 disease including publishing in social media, names of private citizens allegedly confirmed COVID-19 positive,” said the statement issued today by the Presidency.

“The High-Level Taskforce wishes to assure the public that the Ministry of Health does not publish names nor does it share any information about private citizens in public or social media. The Taskforce urges the public to ignore this malicious propaganda, and further warns the culprits to desist from their hateful puffery.”

The Presidency encourages the victims who might have been affected by the actions to take legal proceedings against those journalists.

“Private citizens falling victims of this spiteful hype reserve the right of taking legal action against the perpetrators.”

As of today, the number of COVID-19 cases in the world’s youngest nation has surpassed 200.

S. Sudan joins battle against COVID-19, pledges $1 million to AUF, Africa CDC

Africa’s Map featuring African Union member states affected by the COVID-19 pandemic/Photo: Africa CDC

May 8, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan, one of the African Union member states, has joined the rest of the African countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, pledging $750,000 to African Union Fund and $250,000 to the Africa Centres for Disease (Africa-CDC).

The announcement came on Thursday following an urgent meeting held at the State House by the Presidency.

“The Presidency has approved the amount of $ 750,000.00 as contribution of the Republic of South Sudan to African Union Fund (AUF) to fight COVID-19,” the Presidency said on Thursday.

“The Presidency further approved the amount of $ 250,000 as contribution of the Republic of South Sudan to the Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC).”

The Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC) is a flagship continental body, supporting and cooperating with African Union member states in providing coordinated and integrated solutions to deficiencies in public healthcare services.

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