COVID-19 Confirmed in South Sudan

Crowded Refugee Camp in Maban County South Sudan Crowded Refugee Camp in Maban County South Sudan UNHCR

7 April 2020

South Sudan, which is recovering from 6 years of war, is now the 51st African country with a confirmed case of COVID-19

The first case of coronavirus in South Sudan brings international concern as the conflict there has created conditions that are already devastating and could worsen if coupled with the emerging pandemic. Currently, South Sudan only has four ventilators in the entire country. Nearly 200,000 of its population live in overpacked camps and lack access to proper hygiene facilities. 7.5 million people are already in need of humanitarian assistance.

The first case of the coronavirus in South Sudan was detected in a 29-year-old UN worker who had come from the Netherlands. She arrived in the country on February 28 and started showing symptoms on April 2.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has responded to the situation by closing borders, schools, airports, and places of worship as well as initiating a mandatory curfew from 20:00 to 6:00. Caroline Sekyewah, South Sudan Country Director at the International Rescue Committee, spoke on the issue saying, “If we do not act now, many will lose their lives. But, with funding deployed quickly, we can improve the health response, inform the community about the disease and work to mitigate the spread…” 


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Author: Noelle Musolino; Editor: Vito Quaglia

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