Photo: Coronavirus patients being hospitalized in the Sudanese capital Khartoum [Ccredit: Middle East Eye]
JUBA – Coronavirus cases in South Sudan has neared 200 after the high-level taskforce said on Monday that 18 people tested positive.
A total of 175 test results were released on Monday according to Dr. Makur Koriom, who is the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health and 18 returned positive bringing the total confirmed cases to 174.
Makur said 16 of the latest confirmed South Sudan coronavirus cases are citizens while two are truck drivers intercepted at Nimule border.
Out of the 16 South Sudanese, two are from the internally displaced persons’ camps commonly known as PoCs in Juba, one random sample from Al-Sabah Children’s Hospital, one from a zone in Juba, 10 were alert cases and others are contacts of the previous cases.
“This is a new development, a new dimension in the spread of the disease in the country,” Dr. Makur said of the cases at PoC3.
“A couple of days ago we reported one case among the PoC dwellers but that was in Bentiu. Now we have seen two cases in Juba.”
South Sudan still has two recoveries and no deaths from the coronavirus disease.
Interest in Malagasy perceived cure as coronavirus cases in South Sudan soar
Coronavirus cases in South Sudan soars, the government is set to import a herbal tonic from Madagascar dubbed as the world’s first Covid-19 ‘cure’.
Scientists have blessed the use of the cure in some parts of the continent.
The High-Level taskforce on coronavirus last week recommended the herbal tonic and urged President Salva Kiir to communicate to his Madagascan counterpart President Andry Rajoelina to avail the herbal tonic to South Sudan.
This comes as coronavirus cases in South Sudan soar at an alarming rate.
African countries like Tanzania, Congo-Brazzaville, and Guinea-Bissau have started importing the herbal tonic from Madagascar.
The tonic is made from the Artemisia plant – the source of an ingredient that is used in the treatment of malaria.
President Rajoelina has been promoting the herbal tonic, saying it will “change the course of history”.
According to media reports, the Covid-organics will be distributed free of charge to African countries and it will be sold at very low prices to others.
The tonic was developed by a private research institute that has been investing in researching the uses of Madagascar’s traditional medicines.
“The Taskforce commended and appreciated the support offered by the government of Madagascar and they recommended to the President to communicate to his counterpart in Madagascar so that they can avail the same support to South Sudan,” said Dr. Richard Lako the Director-General at the Ministry of Health.
However, the World Health Organization has repeatedly cautioned against self-medication and said in a statement that it did not recommend any scientifically unproved medicines for treating COVID-19.
It said Africans deserve access to medicines that have gone through proper trials even if they are derived from traditional treatments.
The UN health agency says it has already launched a “solidarity” international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19.
South Sudan so far recorded 58 cases, two recoveries, and no deaths.
Yesterday, a 41-year-old man who recently tested positive for coronavirus has threatened to leave the government’s isolation center due to lack of some necessities.
Bona Bak was placed under quarantine last week while attempting to travel to Abyei which has been banned as coronavirus cases in South Sudan soar. He said he has been at the isolation center in Juba for over 4 days.
Currently, there are only three rooms, each with eight beds at Dr. John Garang Infectious disease center.
“I’ve children I am taking care of; I also have children outside under my responsibility. I want to go home, I need help,” Bak sad.
Fears of severe outbreak as refugees from DRC cross to South Sudan
Fears that coronavirus cases in South Sudan will severe have become reality as refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have crossed into Yambio County of South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State, a local official disclosed.
Paulino Zizi, the Commissioner for Refugee Affairs in the state said during interview with Radio Tamazuj on Friday that the Congolese refugees started to cross into the county on May 4.
The official further pointed out that some of the new arrivals received food and non-food items distributed by humanitarian organizations.
He did not ruled out whether the coming of refugees will increase the coronavirus cases in South Sudan
He said the refugees are currently put in quarantine for 14 days in Birisi area before they are transferred to a refugee center in Makpandu.
Zizi urged humanitarian organizations to provide all services needed by the refugees while staying under quarantine.
South Sudan has so far recorded 156 cases of the novel coronavirus.
Separately, the UN Refugee Agency in South Sudan commended the unity government for continuing to welcome people seeking refuge from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In a statement on Friday, UNHCR commended the unity government for its continued generosity to allow people fleeing recent violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to seek refuge in South Sudan, despite the current movement restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to UNHCR, nearly 250 people from DRC have crossed into rural areas of the Western Equatoria State over the last week – many among them are vulnerable women and children.
“UNHCR and its partners, along with the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, and the CRA are on the ground to support the new arrivals with life-saving assistance; food, water, sanitation and healthcare services are provided and COVID19 preventive measures are implemented,” the statement reads in part.
It added that the new arrivals have been sensitized on the new coronavirus disease and the measures in place to tackle it, in compliance with South Sudan’s COVID-19 preparedness and pesponse Plan.
The UN agency pointed out that the new arrivals have agreed to undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine in a safe location identified by the authorities, with the support of UNHCR and its partners.