‘Pray at home’ Chief bishop directs churches, colleges to close over COVID-19

(Thessherald)–In the wake of the spreading pandemic virus, The Most Rev. Dr. Justin Badi Arama, Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and The Metropolitan Bishop of Juba Diocese on Tuesday issued directives, urging all Christians to conduct prayers indoors on Sundays.

“Dear fellow servants and Christians, Lent greetings to you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” said the religious leader in a press release.

“With reference to the presidential statement on coronavirus and the directives given by the Ministry of Health in regards to preventive measures and how to minimise the infection and spread of the coronavirus amongst our population, we hereby give the following directives to the Church,” the statement added.

“On Sundays, all Christians should remain at home and pray from home with their own families until we get directives from the government that it is safe to congregate again.”

The religious leader directed churches and colleges to honor President Kiir’s directives on the prevention the spread of coronavirus.

“All Church schools and colleges are to be immediately closed until further notice.”

“Only Bishops, pastors, Lay Readers and Evangelists should continue to keep the light of prayers burning daily in the Churches to intercede for God’s mercy and protection upon the people of South Sudan.”

He called on the citizens to strictly follow the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health.

“We must all follow the preventive measures given by the Ministry of Health. S. Although the Cotonavirus has disabled our fellowships, social life and physical touch, we should continue to touch each other’s hearts with words of encouragements and prayer through phone calls.”

The head of the Episcopal Church underscored the pandemic virus might be a sign of a warning from God, telling us to repent of our sins.

“All what is happening could be that God is telling us to repent, humble ourselves in prayer, fasting, and reconcile with God and one another to cement peace in our nation. O Lord have mercy, hear our prayers and proietyour people.”

Full Text: ‘Prevention is better than cure,’ Kiir addresses the nation on COVID-19

The President Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dates: 16 March 2020 J1 Presidential Palace.

(Thessherald)–Fellow Countrymen, Your Country, South Sudan is COVID-19 – free The World Health Organisation (WHO) risk assessment indicates a very ‘high risk’ worldwide including our country. The declaration of the disease as pandemic, means countries have to take serious and effective action to fight this new coronavirus.

We are taking immediate actions and scale up response to detect, treat and reduce transmission in order to save lives.

1- I have ordered self quarantine of all senior government officials who have just arrived from countries with established local infection and transmission of COVID-19

2- We have directed security and law enforcement agencies to support the Ministry of Health in enforcing isolation, self- quarantine, removing COVID-19 suspects and relocating them to isolation centres. 3- All international conferences slated to take place in South Sudan have temporarily been postponed due to the looming threat of COVID-19.

4- All planned social gatherings like sporting events, religious events, socio-cultural such as weddings, and political events must be postponed.

5- Caution must be exercised to reduce and avoid crowding at place of work. Workers sharing an office space must ensure they are seated at least one metre apart.

6- Travelers arriving South Sudan from affected countries and areas with established local transmission will be self- quarantined for 14 days.

7- Non-essential travels to affected countries must be called off or postponed to a later date. We have ordered restrictions on movement of people, including decline to issue new visas, revoking visas and residence permits, and denial of admission at ports of entry.

Prevention is better than cure. I advise all South Sudanese and residents to observe the following 10 basic measures to prevent the spread of the virus in order to save lives:

  1. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
  1. Clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant for example kitchen benches and work desks;
  2. COVID-19 is spread by droplets. Maintain at least 1-metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  4. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Droplets spread virus. By covering your nose and mouth, you protect the people around you from viruses such as COVID-19.
  5. Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
  6. Avoid traveling if you have fever or cough, and if you become sick while on a flight, inform the crew immediately. Once you get home, contact a health professional and tell them about where you have been; 8. Take extra precautions to avoid crowds.
  7. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. National and local authorities will have the most up-to-date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.
  8. It is normal and understandable to feel anxious, especially if your community has been affected. Find out what you can do in your community. Discuss how to stay safe with your employer, school or place of worship. For persons who have recently visited Countries where COVID-19 is spreading:

Follow the guidance outlined above. (refer to the Ministry of Health’s Advisory) Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses. If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or

  1. other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility.

This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses. I take this opportunity to profoundly thank the World Health Organisation, the CDC and other partners in South Sudan for their tremendous work. I salute the courage of the WHO and all our partners who are working tirelessly during this trying moment. The contributions from partners have challenged us and open up a new space for our commitment, designed to meet the increasing demand and expectations of our people. May God protect our nation.

Thank you.

First COVID-19 case confirmed in Nairobi, Kenya

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe/Photo: File

(Thessherald)–The Kenyan Ministry of Health has confirmed the country’s first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) since the deadly virus outbreak in 2019.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said it is an imported case by a Kenyan national who came from the United States.

The Kenyan government has reportedly taken measures to control the spread of the pandemic virus that continues to threaten the world on an unprecedented scale.

“Members of the press and fellow Kenyans, I want to inform you that the Ministry of Health has confirmed the first Coronavirus case in Kenya,” said Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.

The following Statement was issued by the Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health has confirmed a Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Nairobi. The case, which was confirmed on the 12th March 2020, is the first one to be reported in Kenya since the beginning of the outbreak in China in December 2019. The case is a Kenyan citizen who travelled back to Nairobi returning from the United States of America via London, United Kingdom on the 5th March 2020. She was confirmed positive by the National Influenza Centre Laboratory at the National Public Health Laboratories of the Ministry of Health. The patient is clinically stable, and is being managed at the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health, continues to strengthen measures to ensure no further transmission of the disease in Kenya. The National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus preparedness and response will continue to provide strategic leadership working through whole Government approach to respond to this case in the implementation of mitigation measures.

“I wish to assure all Kenyans that we have been beefing up our preparedness capacities since the first confirmed cases in China. The Government will use all the available resources to respond to this case.”

“The Government has traced all the contacts of the patient since her arrival in Kenya. Kenyans are reminded that most people who become infected may experience only mild illness and recover easily, but the disease can be more severe in others, especially the elderly and persons with other chronic illnesses.”

What is a coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization, Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.

In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.

Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

Coronavirus declared ‘pandemic’ by WHO

(Thessherald)–The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of the Coronavirus as a global “pandemic” and urged governments to take strong measures to combat the spread of the virus.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by the WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noting that the number of cases documented outside China had doubled 13 times over the last few weeks .

He said he was “deeply concerned” by “alarming levels of inaction” over the virus. A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.

However Dr Tedros said that calling the outbreak a pandemic did not mean the WHO was changing its advice about what countries should do.

He called on governments to change the course of the outbreak by taking “urgent and aggressive action”.

“Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled,” he said.

“The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will.”

Governments had to “strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimising disruption and respecting human life”.

“We’re in this together to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It’s doable,” he said.

S. Sudan, China join hands to combat the spread of Coronavirus

(Thessherald)–The Chinese embassy in South Sudan and the country’s ministry of health have joined ranks to strengthen preventative measures against the novel coronavirus or the COVID-19.

Hua Ning, the Chinese ambassador in Juba said though there is currently no confirmed case of the COVID-19 in South Sudan, the embassy is working with the South Sudanese government and the World Health Organization (WHO) to boost screening and quarantine measures.
“The Chinese embassy has established a working mechanism with the South Sudanese government and the WHO and maintained hotline contact,” the Chinese envoy told reporters in Juba on Friday.

The government has also developed a guideline which requires people who recently visited China and other countries affected by the virus to be isolated from the public for 14 days.

“We have issued notices several times to remind Chinese citizens in South Sudan and ask them to cooperate with the relevant authorities of South Sudan in screening, quarantine and other entry inspection and quarantine measures,” Hua said.

The Chinese envoy also hailed the South Sudanese government and people for standing with China during the battle against the epidemic.

“There are also many people from all walks of life in South Sudan expressing their support for China’s fight against the epidemic in various ways and are full of confidence in China’s capability to win a final victory over the epidemic,” Hua said.

“I want to thank the government and people of South Sudan for their firm support during the difficult times in China.”

Hua revealed that China’s epidemic prevention and control measures have produced positive results and over the past two weeks, daily reported confirmed cases have fallen by 80 percent.

The Chinese envoy also assured the people of South Sudan that the 27 South Sudanese students in Hubei, 24 of whom in Wuhan city are all healthy and safe.

“The Chinese government and relevant local authorities have taken careful measures to protect the life and safety of international students,” Hua stressed.

“The first is to establish an epidemic prevention working group for foreign students, strengthen management, and establish a daily reporting system to prevent the epidemic from spreading to international student groups. The second is to protect the daily lives of international students,” he added.

Originally published by (Xinua)

China’s statement on combating Covid-19 and its citizens quarantined in Kenya

Chinese and Kenyan embedded flags Photo: Chinese /Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya

Press statement,

February 27, 2020 (Thessherald)– 1. Briefing on COVID-19 cases in China According to China’s National Health Commission and the State Council inter-agency task force, the latest development of COVID-19 in China’s mainland is as follows: (1) Feb 26 saw 24 newly confirmed cases excluding Hubei Province.

(2) In Hubei Province, 409 newly confirmed cases were reported, and 2,288 more patients have been cured and discharged from hospitals.

(3) As of 24:00 on Feb 26 (Beijing Time), 78,497 confirmed cases have been reported, including 32,495 cured cases and 2,744 fatalities.

  1. Regarding some of the Concerns on China Southern Airlines passengers (1) According to clinical findings, most Covid-19 cases show symptoms of fever, so body temperature is a common indicator used in traveler health surveillance. (2) During the epidemic, passengers of the China Southern Airlines flight to Nairobi, before coming into Kenya, have to go through at least 5 times of screening, which happen before they enter the airport of departure, before they board the plane, during their travel, before getting off the plane and entering the boarder of Kenya. Same measures have been taken for the passengers arriving on Feb 26. (3) During the epidemic, China Southern Airlines collects passenger information including contacts and address, with which the Ministry of Health and the Embassy will be able to trace and check on the passengers.
  2. How are the Chinese nationals quarantined
  3. (1) 14-day self-quarantine is one of China’s epidemic prevention and control experiences and has been proved very effective in China. (2) The Embassy has repeatedly informed all Chinese companies and diaspora groups in Kenya of the 14-day self-quarantined requirement, and this has become commonly accepted among the Chinese community.

The Chinese companies and diaspora groups are mobilized to make arrangements for the self-isolation, supervise and assist those Chinese nationals in quarantine with daily necessities.

(3) The Embassy is keeping close watch on all the Chinese nationals coming into Kenya. For the Chinese passengers on the China Southern Airlines flight arriving on Feb 26, the Embassy has reached 52 of them who have been in quarantine upon arrival at their living places, and we will check the rest of the passengers tomorrow on Feb 28. Moreover, the Embassy has emphasized that random and unexpected visits will be made by the Ministry of Health and the Embassy and all of them should stay wherever they are for at least 14 days.

(4) The Embassy will continue to update the Ministry of Health every Monday and Thursday on the information of the quarantined and those released after 14 days.

(5)The Embassy appreciates the efforts of the Ministry of Health and will continue to work closely with the Ministry to prevent importation of COVID-19 into Kenya.