Latest: S. Sudan’s First lady, Mary Ayen releases inmates to curb spread of COVID-19

April 30, 2020 (Thessherald)–In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the First Lady of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. Madam Mary Ayen Mayardit, has today visited prison wards and facilitated the release of about 10 prisoners convicted of minor offenses and sentenced to short-term of incarceration in the country’s capital, Juba.

Speaking to reporters after witnessing the release of the prisoners, The First Lady Ayen assured the rest of the prisoners to remain strong and optimistic and that they shouldn’t feel forgotten.

“The rest of the people [referring to those still behind bars] – I haven’t forgotten you, I’ll be back in a few days or a few months,” she said.

Last week, the rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch called on relevant authorities to decongest overcrowded detention facilities to avert the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nyaogoah Tut Pur, Human Rights Watch Researcher in South Sudan lauded the unity government for taking strict measures against the spread of the virus by closing borders, banning all flights, and suspending all religious gatherings.

However, she expressed grave concern that prisoners are more likely to be affected most by the ongoing global pandemic due to insufficient medical facilities across the country.

The High-Level Task Force on COVID-19, through the Ministry of Health, has documented 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia confirm first COVID-19 cases today

(Thessherald)–Three east African countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan – have confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic virus in 2019.

In Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute confirmed on Friday that a 48-year-old Japanese citizen who came from Burkina Faso had been tested positive and quarantined in a health facility to control the transmission of the virus.

“The person found positive is a 48 year old Japanese citizen who came to Ethiopia on March 4, 2020 from Burkina Faso,” confirmed the Ministry of Health.

“Ethiopia has put in place a disease surveillance program since the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, and it has now identified the first positive case in the country. The patient is currently isolated at our facility.”

The Ethiopian government stated that the case is being addressed and that those who may have been in close contact with the patient are being tracked and quarantined when they are found as part of preventive measures against the transmission of the virus.

“He is undergoing medical follow up and is in a stable condition. Those who have been in contact with this person are being traced and quarantined. Since fear and panic are as dangerous as the disease itself, this first positive case in the country should not let us lower our guard but should propel us to redouble our effort to control the disease.”

In Kenya

On Friday, The Ministry of Health confirmed a case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nairobi and was the first of its kind to be reported in Kenya since the outbreak in China in late 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 Ministry of Health explained in a statement obtained by The South Sudan Herald.

“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 statement added.

The Government traced all the contacts of the patient since her arrival in Kenya.

–In Sudan

The Sudanese Ministry of Health reported the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 of a man who died on Thursday after traveling to the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, bringing the number of COVID-19 cases to 170 in African countries.