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Health minister suspends issuance of Covid-19 negative certificates

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Thursday, June 4, 2020

The Minister of Health, Elizabeth Achuei, at the launch of the call center in Juba on May 14, 2020 | Credit | UNDP South Sudan.

The Minister of Health has suspended the issuance of Covid-19 negative certificates, saying some individuals have been issuing fake ones.

 

This is according to a ministerial order signed by Elizabeth Achuei on Wednesday.

She says some individuals especially around Juba International Airport have been issuing fake COVID-19 negative certificates to travelers.

“This is a criminal undertaking that I take issue with seriously,” health minister, Achuei stated in the order.

She directed all the ministry’s departments and other law enforcement agencies to implement the order.

In April, the World Health Organization warned against issuing what it called “immunity passports” to people who have recovered from Covid-19, as there is no evidence that they will be protected from a second infection.

But the warning was largely disregarded in many countries including South Sudan as they continued to issue negative certificates to people who test negative, and to those who have recovered from the virus – on the assumption they would be immune to reinfection.

The WHO said in its warning that “there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection”.

Instead, the certificates could pose a health risk by providing unjustified assurances of protection to individuals and their communities, according to the UN health agency.

There have been reports, including from China and South Korea, of patients who appeared to have recovered from the disease testing positive again.

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