Exclusive: All confirmed COVID-19 patients are in stable condition: official

May 6, 2020 (Thessherald)–A senior government official in the Ministry of Health confirmed on Tuesday that all confirmed COVID-19 patients, including newly registered cases, are in good condition and are well cared for under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.

“There are no active cases currently under critical care.”

“There is no cause for alarm, although the number of cases continues to rise, the public is rest assured that all those tested positive for the COVID-19 pandemic are in stable condition and some of them are faring much better so far.”

On Tuesday, the South Sudanese High-Level Task Force on COVID-19, in a meeting chaired by FVP Dr. Riek Machar, announced six (6) more cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 58.

The government urges the public to strictly observe the rules of social distancing and other public health measures declared by the South Sudan and High Level Task-Force on COVID-19.

“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).”

CPA Launches Online Polls on Household Resilience and Response To COVID-19 Pandemic

Online Baseline Assessments

May 2, 2020 (Thessherald)–A Juba-based civil society group, The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) has launched an online baseline assessment to establish perceived levels of Household Resilience and how communities are coping and responding to the current global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) requests your participation in the attached survey. The survey is designed to gather information about current levels of household resiliency in the face of the global COVID19 pandemic.

Here is a link https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeNVRhhGQ3VLhwV5MoZDcgXdwRGtWC15fr_SCyyxtKwhzAWdw/viewform?usp=sf_link

The group emphasized in a statement that the current polls seek to obtain a complete picture of the current situation and the best ways in which citizens can remain safe if the government responds and decides to declare a nationwide lockdown.

“Our aim is to learn about household assets, support, and access to needed supplies such that families can stay safe and well during any potential virus outbreak, or in the event that the Government of South Sudan implements restrictions on citizens, as has been done in neighboring countries like Uganda and Kenya and the rest of the world,” CPA explains.

“Our aim is to share this information with Government institutions like the Ministry of Health and its partners organizations operating in South Sudan i. e. World Health Organization, UNICEF, Centers for Disease Control, Dr John Garang Infectious Disease Unit and South Sudan Youth Fight Against COVID-19 or other Civil Society Organizations to bolster the national response plan in South Sudan.”

The statement noted that the survey is geared towards helping civil society organizations collect quality data to support health workers and other front-line responders to make an informed decision while combating the spread of the virus.

“Your voluntary participation enables the Center for Peace and Advocacy to gather the best, comprehensive data to support our fellow South Sudanese during the COVID19 pandemic.”

“All responses are confidential and anonymous. This survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.”

If you have questions about the survey, our data collection procedures, or any other facet of the survey, you are welcome to contact the Center for Peace and Advocacy by phone +211924538137 email cpasouthsudan@gmail.com , or through our website http://southsudancpa.org/.

Students Union urges urgent formation of states’ governments and R-TNLA

News Update

April 30, 2020 (Thessherald)–A Kampala-based University and College Students’ Union has issued a statement urging the Parties to expedite the appointment of state governors and form the Revitalized National Transitional Legislative Assembly in a timely manner.

“In line with the 2018 Peace Agreement signed in Khartoum and Ethiopia respectively, there is an urgent need to speed up the implementation of the R-ARCSS in letter and spirit, and proper Security Arrangements in the current fragile state of South Sudan in order to restore confidence among the population,” said Gatluah Yielyam, Chairman of Chairperson of Phow Universities and Colleges Students’ Union in Uganda.

“I appeal to all signatories to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) to break the ongoing deadlock and form the states’ governments and the R-TNLA so that a new chapter is opened and the country embark on development,” he said.

“South Sudan is mired in an indescribable situation in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic – the local population needs serious sensitization on the danger of this new virus, but how will it happen if there are no states’ leaders in the country and representatives of the constituencies in Parliament?,” he questioned.

“Given the ongoing spread of the pandemic on an unprecedented scale worldwide and its negative economic impacts on the global economy and especially recessions, I have been following daily updates from the South Sudan Task Force on COVID-19, which is leading the fight against the virus, but no free distribution of food to vulnerable people ever been mentioned, then how would they possibly survive during this lockdown?.”

On Wednesday, South Sudan registered the biggest single-day spike in the COVID-19 cases, raising the number of confirmed cases to 35.

Communication from The Presidency No. Forty-One (41)

The High-Level Taskforce on COVID-19 Pandemic Wednesday, 29th April 2020 Juba, South Sudan

April 29, 2020 (Thessherald)–The High-Level Taskforce on COVID-19 Pandemic held its 39th Meeting on the afternoon of Wednesday 29th April 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 was briefed on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation in South Sudan, the Region and the Globe by the Honourable Minister for Health.

• The Honourable Minister informed the Taskforce that on Wednesday 29th April 2020, the Public Health Laboratory released 100 results. Of these, one (1) case was confirmed positive while fourteen (14), were equivocal and need a retest.

• The confirmed case is a 23-year-old female who is one of the 34 mourners planning to travel to Kuajok, Warrap State.

South Sudan now has Thirty-Five (35) confirmed cases.

• In light of the foregoing: The High-Level Taskforce places a moratorium on the travel of all the thirty-four (34) mourners to Kuajok in Warrap State.

• This is necessary to allow health workers to identify, isolate and test contacts.

• The Taskforce urges all potential contacts to voluntarily come forward and make themselves known to the health workers.

The High-Level Taskforce directs the Ministry of Health to expedite procurement of three (3) more Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Machines in order to enhance the testing capacity of the Public Health Laboratory.

The High-level Taskforce, commends the United Nations system, notably, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nation’s Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations’ World Food Programme and the UN Resident Coordination Office in South Sudan for their support to the government in the fight against COVID-19.

The High-Level Taskforce approves the use of cloth- face mask; and advises members of the public to adopt the use of locally manufactured cloth-face mask at all times, especially in public places.

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

Breaking: South Sudan records 28 cases of COVID-19 in single day

April 28, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan’s government has for the first time registered one of the biggest single-day spikes in the COVID-19 cases since the outbreak of the disease in 2019, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 34.

The High-Level Task Force on the COVID-19 Pandemic confirmed on Tuesday, in its forty update of COVID-19, that the country’s Ministry of Health had taken blood samples for 139 people, of whom 28 of them were tested positive.

“The High-Level Taskforce on COVID-19 Pandemic held its 38th Meeting on the afternoon of Tuesday 28th April 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.”

Adding that, “The High-Level Taskforce was briefed on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation in South Sudan, the Region and the Globe by the Honourable Minister for Health.”

Meanwhile, The High-Level Taskforce on the COVID-19 pandemic noted that among the 28 confirmed cases, 10 of them were equivocal and must be retested.

“The Honourable Minister informed the Taskforce that on Tuesday 28th April 2020, that the Public Health Laboratory released 139 results. Of these, twenty-eight (28) cases were confirmed positive while ten (10), including 2 truck drivers at Nimule Border Crossing were equivocal and need a retest,” the statement said.

South Sudan purchases 60 ventilators in the battle against COVID-19

April 24, 2020 (Thessherald)–The High-Level Tasked Force on COVID-19 announced on Friday that a consignment of medical supplies, including some 60 hospital-grade ventilators procured by South Sudan, is expected to arrive in the capital, Juba, over the weekend.

“The High-Level Taskforce was informed that a charter plane carrying equipment and supplies, including 60 ventilators, purchased by the government of the Republic of South Sudan will arrive in the country over this weekend.”

The committee welcomes the recent pledge of USD 3.9 Million committed by the Africa Development Bank (AFDB) of US $ 3.9 million to support the country’s efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The High-Level Taskforce welcomes the pledge by the Africa Development Bank (AFDB) of just over USD 3.9 Million to support the government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection in the country.”

“The High-Level Taskforce resolves that South Sudanese students on government scholarships in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, shall remain in Ethiopia as agreed earlier by the governments of the two sisterly countries. South The High-Level Taskforce reiterates that South Sudanese citizens, including students, must abide by the laws of their host countries.”

Since the past few weeks, South Sudan has made headlines after international media reported that the country has only four ventilators.

It is believed that the government has spent one and a half million dollars on those newly purchased ventilators as each device costs about 25,000 dollars.

Opinion: Fighting an invisible enemy (COVID-19)

Opinion: By Abdelgabar Abdelrahman

April 23, 2020 (Thessherald)–Humanity is taken by surprise by COVID-19 or Coronavirus. An invisible enemy infiltrating, capable to wage all-out war against us on more than a hundred and fifty fronts (countries), covering millions of miles to threaten the entire societies simultaneously, while at the same time retaining the attack power and supply lines with a multiplying magnitude; on ground, on-air and sea.

Although it is the first time that all humanity despite across the globe and despite their divergent thoughts and attitude, allied in one front against a single enemy, the entire military arsenal available, will unlikely have any effect in confronting the weapons of this enemy, it is in fact not valid in this war. Although there are precautionary measures in place, it turns out that the world was not fully prepared for a war of this kind and scale, nor to this extent and apparently not along these broad fronts.

Humanity has previously experienced two notorious world wars, the enemies were not any but among themselves. There were always allies and axis with different causes, battles were in some occasions coordinated to take place at the same time in various fronts, but it was always warring with exposed parties, nevertheless, they use tactics and tricks to hide, however, the fact remains there, it was never of this scale, pace and magnitude COVID-19 adopts.

The way Coronavirus strikes, shows its wicked smartness and capability to choose the front to target, the victim and time very precisely keeping a pace even steadier to cause heavy fatalities in a very short time. Given causing this tremendous damage of mass killing and psychological trauma, it seems not losing except little of its killers, who surrender due to being trapped and captured by the front-line fighters of our bodies medically known as antibodies as part of the immune system.

This is an advanced version of wars against humanity waged by this virus; it has well planned for it, sophisticated and coordinated. The network the virus uses to manage, direct and coordinate this war, will no doubt reset our minds to rethink of a new approach on how do we as humans respond in the future to such kind of magnified threat.

The virus manoeuvres swiftly to control us, using the network and means we use in our daily life. The capability of the virus to bypass our vigilance is high and is subsequently subjecting our resilience to hard tests. It is also continuously pushing us into narrow and tight tunnels, where it can painfully strike the profound heart of mankind, causing many to lose their loved ones without even getting the chance to stand beside them as they pass away. This is a wicked trend to leave us with no options but shoved backs to endure subsequent hits.

COVID-19 launched this war without enduring any cost, nor paying a penny to produce and stockpile its ammunition. It did use our bodies to move its killers from a place to another, created a strong network by controlling the use of all the surfaces we touch, and transfer them into supply lines for its deadly attacks. This pandemic has carefully studied our weaknesses to plan for this war.

Our brave fighters on the front lines who are the medical workers, including doctors, nurses, biomedical and assistants in various areas of the medical field, were the first to receive the strongest blow from the virus, and it appeared in many stages of the rapid spread of the pandemic and the increase in the number of people infected with the rise of the death toll, has raised concerns about the inability of the stockpile of the medical protection kits to Withstand, concerns manifested alarmingly.

The fear that those on the front-line of the medical staff may likely at a critical point face acute shortage in the required protection kits increased, despite all official efforts done by the government to keep the pace and demand, the contemplation that they might face the enemy with bare hands and faces, remains lightning-like thunder in a dark cloudy night.

This cruel experience is no doubt shall make us re-read what we must do in the future to build up more effective strategies in our preparations for such a war, with similar invisible enemies. I reckon the broad lines for such strategies would definitely base on giving priority and extra importance to preventive health and various health services including medical research and stockpiles of medical protection kits. Strategies will also focus on society total lockdown plans, with parallel plans to secure the economy not to subject to recessional threats.

The war against Coronavirus seems to overturn the ever known war-preparation and precautionary measures theories, at least for the next century. Even though, tough measures have been placed to mitigate the negative impact or eliminate the worst of the virus’s results, what so ever success comes eventually, will be on a very high cost.

If there is a hard lesson to learn while the ongoing fight against this invisible enemy continues, it is that this is not a war of confrontation; it is a war of isolation. You cannot see the virus, do not let the virus see you. This is a message for everybody to be aware that, it is wise to evacuate the gardens, streets and defer gatherings voluntarily, and which would all be temporary, before the virus sadly evacuates us against our will in coffins. Raise the awareness to the seriousness of this pandemic, by sticking to the message of the government. “Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives”.

The author is a Freelance Researcher and writer. He can be reached at email: jabdosa@yahoo.com

Note: The views expressed in the ‘Opinion’ section are sole responsibility of individual authors and will take full responsibility, liability and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The South Sudan Herald is not liable for any comment submitted by individuals authors and reserve the right to delete any opinion piece for any reason whatsoever.

Should you wish to submit your opinion piece or analysis, kindly contact us at: thessherald@gmail.com

China donates medical equipment to South Sudan, including 5 ventilators

The second shipment of medical supplies donated by China to South Sudan/Photo:File

April 20, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Chinese government has donated medical equipment to South Sudan, including 5 ventilators and more than 30 non-contact infrared thermometers, bringing the number of ventilators to 9 – in a country that has a population of 12 million.

South Sudan has so far registered 4 cases of COVID-19, raising fears that the number of cases could jump more quickly due to lack of medical equipment, facilities and poor hygiene in the country.

This is the second time that Chinese billionaire and philanthropist Jack Ma has sent a massive shipment of medical supplies to developing countries in Africa to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The donation was officially received by
South Sudan’s Ambassador to China, John Andruga Duku, and he appreciated China’s firm support for South Sudan in these difficult situations.

South Sudan is one of the latest countries in Africa to have confirmed and documented a few cases of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first coronavirus case was imported by a United Nations staff member who came to South Sudan from abroad via Ethiopia.

‘Buy your own masks,’ Ministry of Health tells citizens

April 9, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan’s government will not be able to bear the costs of purchasing PPE for every citizen and that members of the public should find their own way to purchase their PPE in the market as the government faces financial challenges.

Dr. Angok Gordon Kuol, Incident Manager at the Ministry of Health points out that there is an ongoing financial crisis across the country owing to the conflict.

South Sudan has so far registered three cases of COVID-19, a worrying trend in a country whose health system has been ruined by years of the conflict.

What’s COVID-19?

According to the Ministry of Health,
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.

How can it be prevented?

There’s currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
You can protect yourself and help prevent spreading the virus to others if you:

· Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
· Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze
· Avoid close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell
· Stay home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell

· Touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean

South Sudan receives giant cheque worth $100,000 to help combat COVID-19

South Sudan’s First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar and other senior government officials receiving a Gian Cheque from IGAD officials/ Photo: File.

April 8, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) staff members have handed over financial assistance to South Sudan’s High Level Taskforce on Coronavirus as part of the emergency respond to combat the spread of the current global pandemic COVID -19.

The cheque worth $100,000 was officially handed over to the Deputy Chair of the High Level Taskforce, Dr. Riek Machar and the newly appointed Minister of Health, Elizabeth Acuei Yol, by the IGAD South Sudan office as well as the CTSAMVM Chairperson who represented the IGAD executive secretary, Workneh Gubeyehu.

Earlier this week, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMIS) confirmed one case of coronavirus among one of its staff who had traveled from countries severely affected by the disease.

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), has conducted an investigation by epidemiologists to identify individuals who might have been in contact with the patient recently in accordance with the agreed protocols and WHO guidelines.

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