Sudan Covid-19 - Cases Continue to Rise As the Country Suspends Flights From India

Khartoum — The Federal Ministry of Health announced the death of 40 people within four days due to COVID-19. The Civil Aviation Authority suspended all passenger flights between Sudan and India for a month, due to the high rates of infections and the emergence of new strains of COVID-19 in India.

In its epidemiological report for the period from Thursday to Sunday, the Ministry said that there 218 cases of COVID-19 and 260 recoveries were reported within Khartoum, El Gezira, White Nile state, Kassala, and North Darfur.

The officially registered total number of cases rose to 32,862 with 2,340 deaths and 26,722 recoveries.

It is important to note that the actual number of cases is thought to be much higher. Last year, a study from the Imperial College London showed that around 16,090 deaths may have been missed between the start of the pandemic and November 2020. The scholars revealed that only 2% of COVID-19 deaths in Khartoum have been reported as such.

Last week, three women spoke with the BBC about their experiences of living in Sudan during the pandemic and explained that many people cannot afford tests or masks. This means that most COVID-19 patients are never tested and their infections remain unrecorded.

Miyada Mustafa, a senior specialist in public health and a representative of the Health Promotion Department at the Federal Ministry of Health, confirmed that the last day for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be April 30.

On the National Platform for Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic on Sunday evening, she said that the recent 'complacency' of people regarding the pandemic has brought about an increase in cases and deaths. She explained that the pandemic is now in its third wave and has severe impacts, causing illness and death throughout the country.

She called for prayers at home during the month of Ramadan and strict adherence to health precautions if people decide to attend prayers at the mosque. She further called for a reduction in the number of social visits that Sudanese families are used to during this month.

Flights suspension

The Civil Aviation Authority suspended all passenger flights between Sudan and India from Today, Tuesday April 27, until May 27 due to the high rates of infections and the emergence of new strains of COVID-19 in India.

The decision excluded Sudanese from India on the condition that they have proof of a negative COVID-19 test that has been taken within 72 hours prior to arrival at Khartoum Airport and that they commit to a home quarantine period of 14 days.

The authority explained that the decision was based on the recommendation of the Supreme Committee for Health Emergencies.

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