East Africa

South Sudan VP tests positive for Covid again as rules tighten

By DAVID MAYEN


One of five South Sudan vice presidents has tested positive for Covid-19 for a second time, a day after he announced a raft of restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

Vice President Hussein Abdelbagi Akol revealed at a press conference on Tuesday evening that he took the test after feeling unwell for “a few days”.

He said he had been “having a cold and flu, and I decided to take a Covid-19 test, which turned out to be positive.”

“I have already quarantined myself at my residence. All family members and staff in my office shall be screened, and appropriate measures shall be taken to [prevent] the further spread of the virus at my residence and the office,” said Akol.

This is the second time that the VP has tested positive for the virus since May last year.

Read: Another S. Sudan VP contracts Covid-19

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Restrictions

On Monday evening, the national taskforce on Covid-19 imposed movement restrictions in South Sudan to tame the spread of infections.

“The taskforce hereby issues a public order to effect partial lockdown measures effective December 21 to January 2022,” said VP Akol.

Burial activities were restricted to not more than 20 family members.

“We are warning the public to stop receiving dead bodies in numbers at the airport reception and burials,” he said.

The VP directed entertainment joints and all other social gatherings to adhere to the Covid-19 containment measures.

The government also imposed a night curfew from 10 pm to 6 am effective Monday.

“Wearing of face mask is now mandatory, and citizens must observe social distancing while avoiding handshake,” Akol added.

As of Monday, the Ministry of Health had confirmed over 500 new cases in the last three days.

This raises South Sudan’s cumulative tally of coronavirus cases to 13,500, while fatalities remain at 133.

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