Sudan: Celebrities Under Coronavirus Hammer

The Coronavirus pandemic that infected many celebrities around the World has also had its toll among Sudanese celebrities.

The pandemic has applied its sharp canines to bite hard on Sudanese celebrities of different walks of life. So far the list includes medical doctors, religious leaders, artists, government officials and media figures.

The pandemic has already claimed the lives of five Sudanese medical doctors. The medics are globally recognized as humanity's first line of defense against the malaise (or the white army).

Also among those infected was one of the outstanding leaders of the resistance against the dictatorial rule of Omar Albashir: Melodist and celebrated singer Abu'araki Albakheet a month ago declared himself infected and quarantined himself at his home for two weeks, apparently having contracted the disease from his daughter Samahir, a medic in one of Khartoum's hospitals, who was also quarantined.

Abu'araki Albakheet(centre) with the bride and groom

But the artist has now recovered and was seen in a video footage in a violin solo escorting his other daughter, new- wed Nilover, and her groom as they prepared to take a limousine out honeymooning. The family did not organize a wedding party on the occasion in observation of the Ministry of Health regulations banning crowds.

Declaring himself infected, Abua'raki told his fans he was determined to beat the disease, urging the public to take care.

Sufi leader Ahmed Altayeb of the Smmaniyya sect was infected and was declared dead. Another Sufi leader from Abuharaz locality in Central Sudan also reportedly died of the disease.

Another religious leader, scholar Abdelmahmood Abbo of the Ansar Group also announced himself infected and isolated himself. He says he has now recovered. He said he was keen to recite the Koran with his family members and take bee honey, garadh (the fruit of the acacia sunut tree), pomegranate fruit peel, sesame oil, neem (Indian Lilac) tree leaves and yoghurt that helped him a good deal.

Sheikh Abbo said he did not know he was infected at first, saying if had knowledge of that he would have isolated himself from the beginning. "It is my hope that nobody had contracted the disease from me. If that could have happened, it would have been more painful to me than my own infection," he said in an apology on his webpage.

Abdelmahmood Abbo

TV anchor Mohammad Osman had also declared himself infected and quarantined himself at home. Osman is Khartoum correspondent of the Saudi Arabian TV channels Alarabiyya and Alhadath. He said he quarantined himself at home and took the local traditional medicine gharadh, the fruit of the acacia sunut tree and vitamin c and zinc upon the advise of his friends.

Other TV anchors also infected were Suzan Suliman of the National TV and May Khalid of the Khartoum TV Channel. Journalists Salah Alhuwaij, Musa'ab Shareef and Malik Dahab were also infected.

The virus has also knocked the doors of the Council of Ministers. Sports and Youth Minister Wala'a Albushi declared herself infected and went into isolation. Once Wala'a had declared herself infected, Sovereign Council Member Mohammad Alfaki Suleman said was isolating himself, because he was in contact with her during a tour of Eastern and Central Sudan. Another Sovereign Council Member, Ms. Raja'a Nikola the other day said was isolating herself because the manager of her office, reportedly her son, was infected.

Minister of Energy and Mining Adil Ibrahim had earlier isolated himself for fear of having contracted the disease from a contact with one of his relatives, but was later on declared disease-free.

The Military Governor of the Gezira State of Central Sudan Major General Ahmed Subair was also declared infected.

Three senior officials also chose to quarantine themselves at home, for fear of having got the infection. Those were the Undersecretary of Culture and Information who isolated himself upon arriving from France for fear he might have been infected there. Later on he returned to his work after he was assured he was not infected. State Minister of Foreign Affairs Omar Gamareddin, Culture and Information Minister Faisal Mohammad Salih both of them isolated themselves after having contacted infected persons.

TV anchor Mohammad Osman

The popular Koran reader Sheikh Nurain Mohammad Siddiq was also quarantined having led the prayers in which leading figure in the dissolved National Congress Party of Omar Albashir, Hamdi Suliman was infected and was declared dead last week.

Hamdi's death of Coronavirus infection seems to have brought his in-law Altayeb Mustafa, a vehement critic of the Government, to his senses.

Mustafa, a distant uncle of Omar Albashir used to write articles describing the government measures against the virus a ploy to prevent demonstrations seeking to undermine it.

But now Mustafa is saying that coronavirus is indeed a dangerous disease and that he did not know that until he saw what happened to his in-law Hamdi.

Mustafa's revelations about the disease are typical of the poor mentality of the Sudanese Islamists who always wage campaigns against something without careful examination of what it is and whether it is beneficial to the country or not.

A striking example of this was Mustafa's campaign to let Southern Sudan go away for no clear reason and no convincing logic.

Leading officials of the defunct regime now incarcerated in Cooper Prison did not escape the corona bite.

Former minister Ahmed Shareef Badr died of the infection a fortnight ago. Upon his death supporters of the defunct regime started a media campaign that the Government had neglected him and did not give him due medication at the right time. But the euphoria was immediately cut short by Shareef's daughter who videoed a statement saying the government did not neglect her father and had, rather, given him due care.

Najwa Gadah Addam

Former First Vice President Ali Osman Taha was reported infected and isolated. The same applies to former Defense Minster General Abdelrahim Moghammad Hussein.

The case of Former Governor of Kordofan State Ahmed Haroon is indeed very confusing. He is once declared infected and once not.

Some other officials of the former regime jailed in Cooper prison, including Bashir himself, had reportedly refused to be checked for the virus. There is no confirmation of this yet.

On Thursday Ms. Najwa Gadah Addam was declared dead of the disease. Najwa was tipped to have engineered the controversial meeting between chairman of the Sovereign Council, General Abdelfattah Alburhan, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda in February. A reported Israeli attempt to evacuate her by an airplane for medication in Israel had failed because her health condition could not permit the evacuation.



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