South Sudan is reportedly free of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, but measures have been put in place to ensure the country remains unaffected. Media has reported that the following measures have been put in place by the government:
1. Suspension of flights to countries affected by Corona Virus (Covid-19)
Dr Makur Matur, the undersecretary of the ministry of health, on Friday said that the country was “under a high risk of importation of Covid-19 from the affected countries”. “In light to the current transmission of the disease, the government of South Sudan is temporarily suspending flights between South Sudan and affected countries,’’ Dr Matur told journalists in Juba.
The latest decision includes Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Togo, Middle East, US, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru, Paraguay some countries in Europe.
In Asia, China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Philippines, Viet Nam, New Zealand, Cambodia, India have been listed.
2. Banning of Social Gatherings
At a cabinet swearing-in ceremonies of the nation’s transitional government of national unity on Monday, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir banned all social gatherings, including sporting events, religious events, weddings and political activities, due to coronavirus fears.
Salva Kiir also temporarily postponed international conferences slated to take place in South Sudan.
“All planned social gatherings like sporting events, religious events, socio-cultural ones such as weddings, and political events must be postponed, Caution must be exercised to reduce and avoid crowding at places of work,” Kiir said
3. Self-Quarantine of new Ministers and travellers returning from outside South Sudan
South Sudan President Salva Kiir has directed newly appointed ministers and deputy ministers who returned from coronavirus affected countries to self-quarantine themselves.
Several opposition ministers were residing in neighbouring countries hit by coronavirus disease.
President Kiir Monday issued a statement on coronavirus or COVIS-19 pandemic which is now a global concern.
He asserted that the country is COVID-19 – free, but his government has to take the needed measures to scale up the response to detect, treat and reduce its transmission.
“I have ordered self-quarantine of all senior government officials who have just arrived from countries with established local infection and transmission of COVID-19”.
He added that he directed security and law enforcement authorities to support the ministry of health to isolate, self-quarantine and removing suspected cases of coronavirus to isolation centres. Furthermore, President Kiir said “travelers arriving in South Sudan from affected countries and areas with established local transmission will be self-quarantined for 14 days.”
4. Restrictions on Movement and declining of Visas
President Kiir said “Non-essential travels to affected countries must be called off or postponed to a later date. “We have ordered restrictions on the movement of people, including declining to issue new visas, revoking visas and resident permits, and denial of admission at ports of entry,” he added.
Furthermore, the president declared several preventive measures that people should implement daily like washing hands regularly and maintaining at least one-metre distance from others.
However, he did not order to close schools and universities, a measure that countries declare when the pandemic is verified in the country.