By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan’s National Taskforce on Covid 19 has lifted the partial lockdown after the vaccine roll out a weeks ago.
The country’s health ministry said it has vaccinated 947 health workers with the AstraZeneca vaccines against COVID-19.
Of recent, some health experts advised the body to cautiously lift the partial lockdown amidst a decline in cases in recent weeks.
The strict measures to contain the spread of the virus were issued in early February and extended last month.
In February, The taskforce chairman Vice President Hussein Abdelbagi had ordered for a shutdown of all businesses except for those dealing in essential services like food, medicines, and fuel.
The public was required to adhere to the mandatory wearing of facemasks, social distancing, and hand washing.
The Taskforce Abdelbagi also directed law enforcement agencies to enforce the order.
The lockdown measures that were imposed earlier were poorly followed as public transport vehicles maintained their full capacity and other businesses, including night clubs, continued to operate.
The partial lockdown measures elapsed on April 4, but there had been no official communication on whether to extend or remove the ban until Wednesday.
In a statement, Vice president for services, Abdelbagi, also the chairperson of the taskforce, says the move was reached following a decrease in Covid-19 infection rates, while lifted the national partial lockdown with immediate effect saying there was a significant reduction in infections.
“After a thorough consultation with stakeholders, it gives me a great pleasure to announce lifting of the COVID-19 partial lockdown that its effectiveness expired on 4th April 2021, following a decrease in Covid-19 infection rate as the National Laboratory announced,” said Abdelbagi.
“Meanwhile, the public is hereby cautioned to continue to observe the instructions of the health authorities particularly washing hands, the mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, avoiding crowded places, and reporting all suspected cases by calling the free toll number 666,” he added.
President, however, urges the public to strictly follow the Country’s Covid-19 guidelines to prevent further spreading of the virus.
On Wednesday, the country’s health ministry confirmed 11 new cases with 10,416 accumulative figures and 114 death.