South Sudan imposes partial lockdown to beat surge in COVID-19 cases
By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan Vice President and head of the COVID-19 task force, Hussein Abdelbagi Akol has imposed a partial lockdown that included warning the general public comply with environmental cleaning, hygiene and sanitation, COVID-19 guidelines and lockdown measures to help beat back a surge in COVID-19 cases in the East Africa’s youngest country.
COVID-19 cases in the country have spiked more than ten fold in recent weeks from 75 during the second week of December to 953 during the last six days, according to the ministry of health.
This also comes a day, he directed a mandatory vaccines or negative test certificates for anyone entering a public building.
The new measures, which will be effective from Tuesday, include warning the public to stop receiving dead bodies in numbers at the airport, receptions and burial; authorized health facilities and travel terminals (domestic) are allowed use to approved antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTS) for the purpose of screening.
Most of the new restrictions, Akol said, would be implemented for 21 days.
“This order shall come into effect from 21st December and shall remain in force till 10th January, 2022,” said Akol in the order seen by AP.
Akol warned all the public and private health facilities not to admit any COVID-19 patient and suspect.
“All places of worship, social gathering, entertainment premises, public and private transports, hotel, restaurants, tea places and markets are directed to reinforce their respective guidelines on COVID-19 prevention measures,” vice president told the journalists in Juba.
The new measures, is in line with the emergence of the new variants (Delta and Omicron) and the recent increased in number of positive cases in the country coupled with the announcement of the fourth wave by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to Akol.
The fragile country’s struggling to vaccinate its 12 million people, less than 200,000 people are fully vaccinated according to the ministry of health.