South Sudan COVID-19 Cases Rise to 290 as 54 More Test Positive

President Salva Kiir (R) and Riek Machar (L).

South Sudan has registered 54 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 290, the country's Health ministry has said.

The country also registered four recoveries and three deaths.

Speaking to The EastAfrican on Sunday in Juba, Health ministry spokesman Dr Loi Thuoi said some of the new cases were contacts of people who had already tested positive for the coronavirus disease, others were people who sought help after experiencing symptoms, while a third group were people who were tested as they wanted to travel outside the country.

The ministry is tracing contacts of all those who tested positive, Dr Thuoi added.

He urged the public to cooperate with health authorities and adhere to measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

Last Friday, President Salva Kiir dissolved the High-Level Taskforce on coronavirus pandemic and reconstituted a new one, following complaints from citizens and activists that the committee was full of politicians and makes non-scientific decisions.

The new taskforce is led by Vice President in charge of the Service Cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi, and has a number of undersecretaries, the health minister, and a member of the doctors' union.

Edmund Yakani, executive director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, said members of the new taskforce would offer better guidance as they have the technical skills required.

He also urged the team to review the decision to ease restrictions in the country.

"We are asking the taskforce to review the eased restriction that was done in the past by the previous taskforce, specifically the issue of bars," he said, adding that it is difficult to enforce social distancing in such entertainment venues.

"We are asking them to make sure they also commit themselves to ease restrictions in a slow and professional manner," Mr Yakani added.

South Sudan recorded its first Covid-19 case on April 5, a 29-year-old woman who had travelled from Ethiopia on February 28.

Days after the confirmation, President Salva Kiir imposed restrictions, including a ban on all public gatherings, closure of all learning institutions, and enforcement of a curfew to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.

Last week, some South Sudanese criticised President Kiir for easing Covid-19 restrictions, warning that the country may experience a full-blown pandemic.

As of Thursday, all interstate movements had resumed and the capital Juba has allowed resumption of domestic and international flights.

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.