South Sudan: Vice President Abdelbagi Contracts COVID-19

The newly appointed chairman of the South Sudan's reconstituted National Committee on Covid-19 has tested positive for the coronavirus, the national Ministry of Health has confirmed.

Fifth Vice President Hussein Abdelbagi is the fifth senior government official to publicly announce his test results following last week's announcement by First Vice President Riek Machar and his wife Angelina Teny - the minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs - who publicly revealed they had tested positive for Covid-19.

CURB SPREAD

Days after Dr Machars' announcement, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth also confirmed he tested positive for the coronavirus.

On Tuesday this week, former minister for National Security, Dr Majak Agoot, revealed his laboratory results via Twitter, stating that he was doing well after contracting Covid-19.

Speaking on the state-run TV SSBC Wednesday night, Mr Abdelbagi confirmed his laboratory results and called on the public to adhere to preventive measures in order to curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

"The task-force is working tirelessly to curb the level of spread and transmission. However, the general public must comply with such regulations in order to enable us fight coronavirus effectively," he said.

South Sudan on Wednesday night also confirmed 188 new Covid-19 cases. This brought the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the country to 994, with six recoveries and 10 deaths.

FIRST CASE

The country recorded its first Covid-19 case on April 5, a 29-year-old woman who had arrived in the country 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, among other measures to prevent further spread.

Weeks ago, various South Sudanese stakeholders criticised President Kiir for lifting Covid-19 restrictions, warning that the country may experience a surge of the pandemic.

In the past three weeks, all interstate movements had resumed.

Juba has also allowed resumption of both domestic and international flights.

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