South Sudan mulls extending partial lockdown amid rising COVID-19 cases

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A member of South Sudanese Ministry of Health's Rapid Response Team take a sample from a man who has recently been in contact with a confirmed case of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Juba, South Sudan on April 13, 2020. - Four cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been confirmed among United Nations (UN) national and international staff in South Sudan. (Photo by Alex McBride / AFP) (Photo by ALEX MCBRIDE/AFP via Getty Images)

South Sudan Ministry of Health officials said Sunday they plan to extend the one-month-long partial lockdown imposed recently following rapid rise in positive cases of COVID-19.

A member of South Sudanese Ministry of Health’s Rapid Response Team take a sample from a man who has recently been in contact with a confirmed case of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Juba, South Sudan on April 13, 2020. – Four cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been confirmed among United Nations (UN) national and international staff in South Sudan. (Photo by Alex McBride / AFP) (Photo by ALEX MCBRIDE/AFP via Getty Images)

Richard Lako, incident manager for COVID-19 in the ministry of health said that they are most likely to extend the partial lockdown after the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases rose to 7,926 with the total fatalities reaching 93 as of Sunday.

“There is real community transmission, cases are still going up and the number of deaths is going up which calls for us to extend this partial lockdown in order to reduce transmission. Daily transmission cases are mostly being found among travelers,” Lako told journalists in Juba during the weekly COVID-19 updates.

He disclosed that so far they have performed 109,705 number of COVID-19 tests since April 5 last year, when the first COVID-19 case was registered.

South Sudan has also registered 4,217 recoveries.

Lako warned that they may soon start arresting and prosecuting people in court who violate COVID-19 health guidelines.

He added that the government will soon prevent people without face masks from leaving their homes as part of enforcing health guidelines.

Angelo Goup Thon, manager for the public health emergency operation center, the body charged with testing COVID-19 cases confirmed that they are witnessing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases amid shortage of testing reagents and kits.

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