South Sudan confirms new omicron variant

By Deng Machol

Doctor John Rumunu

Juba – South Sudan has confirmed new Omicron variant in the country, a week the government imposes partial lock down.

Doctor John Rumunu, the Covid-19 Incident Manager said reports from samples collected from South Sudan and sent to Uganda Virus Research Institute indicate that omicron variant is in South Sudan.

He explained that the ministry sent around 90 December samples to UVRI for a further genomic sequencing (test) and 81 results turned positive Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“81 samples sent to UVRI are indicating a circulation of Omicron lineage in the country,” Rumunu told  Pan African Visions on Monday in Juba. We can’t tell you we have this number of Omicron but what we can say is, we have Omicron circulation in South Sudan.”

Dr. Rumunu  said omicron is moving fast across the globe, arguing that vaccination and public health social measures are critically needed to curb the spread of pandemic

South Sudan is now administering the single dose Johnson and Johnson and the double dose Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines respectively, vaccines accessibility has increased in South Sudan and health ministry and partners are working to extend the supplies to the remaining 10 counties, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Nearly, 200,000 people have been fully vaccinated since October in the country of 12 million population, struggling to vaccine her citizens.

South Sudan registered 17 new cases on Sunday bringing the total cumulative to 15655, the cumulative recovered stand at 12934 and 136 cumulative death since the outbreak started in April 2020.

Amid surging COVID-19 cases last year, the government is requiring mandatory vaccines or negative test certificates for anyone entering a public building.

In addition to the pandemic, the country is blighting by a growing humanitarian crisis as a result of the five year civil war and the worst floods with more than 800,000 people impacted, according to the U.N.




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