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Kiir and aides given ‘unproven’ virus protection cards

Authors: Nana Alfred Taban | Lin Nelson | Published: Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Japan-made card, not yet approved by WHO, purportedly kills viruses before you inhale.

The Office of the President has confirmed receiving a Japanese-made card that reportedly keeps the virus away from the President and some of his ministers.

The unproven virus prevention card -known as “Virus Shut Out” purportedly kills viruses before you inhale it.

It is said to contain Chlorine Dioxide generating agent such as sodium chlorite and natural zeolite.

According to a Japanese online company, the card and a mat release a low concentration of airborne chlorine dioxide to eliminate germs and viruses in the surrounding air.

It claims wearing the device worn around the neck creates a barrier against germs and viruses, especially in workplaces, public transport, and any other crowded space where airborne germs and viruses are a risk.

This week, pictures of President Salva Kiir, the Minister in the Office of the President, Mayiik Ayii and Information Minister, Michael Makuei, were circulated online showing the officials wearing the blue cards.

The Press Secretary in the Office of the President confirmed to Eye Radio that the items were donated to President Kiir by the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

“Well, these were donations from the Prime Minister of Japan last month to the President of the Republic of South Sudan but they arrived just this week,” Ateny Wek Ateny affirmed.

He insisted that wearing the card is similar to “wearing a mask” -as they reportedly perform the same tasks.

“It was donated specifically for the leadership; the President and those around him, because they said it will help to disinfect within three meters,” Ateny said.

“It is like wearing a mask, just to keep away the viruses because Coronavirus is a virus,” he stressed.

Mr. Ateny was quick to add that the devices were “given free of charge, there is no money for it.”

The World Health Organization has not included the use of the card in its directives for preventing coronavirus.

In late March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prevented the purchase of the Virus Shut Out device, saying its safety and efficacy against viruses have not been evaluated.

It added that it’s “labelling – including directions for use – is not provided in the English language as required by law, and on-line advertising materials contain misleading claims.”

Besides, the Japanese companies have also insisted that the device does not replace basic hygiene measures such as frequent hand washing, and avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth as recommended by the World Health Organization.

WHO recommends the wearing of the mask while in public, social distancing, and regularly washing hands with water and soap or using an alcohol-based sanitizer.

Kiir not ill

On Friday, rumors started circulating online alleging that the president had fallen sick and was rushed to Egypt for treatment.

The report claimed that Kiir had contracted the novel coronavirus while others said he had relocated from his residence in Amarat to Luri.

However, Ateny Wek come out to dismiss the claims, saying the president is in his residence in Juba and that he has not contracted COVID-19.

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