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POCs are coronavirus-free – Shearer

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: Thursday, April 9, 2020

UN Peacekeepers guard as IDPs walk freely at a POC site | File photo

The Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan says there is no case of coronavirus in the Protection of Civilian sites.

This comes after South Sudan confirmed two cases of the coronavirus disease.

The patients, who are said to be working for the UN in the country, are in isolation.

“No issues inside UNMISS but the UN as you know had some cases and those cases have been handled in an isolation,” David Shearer told the media in Juba on Wednesday.

He stressed that the UN is tracing contacts of the patients for tests.

“We are tracing back anybody that they have had contacts with so that we can check those people and put them in isolation as well. We are doing that with the ministry of health,” he said

However, representatives of IDPs in the past three days have been complaining of soldiers forcefully preventing them from leaving their camps.

They said soldiers accused them of being coronavirus positive after the announcement of the two COVID-19 cases.

There are 187,942 civilians in six Protection of Civilians sites located at UNMISS bases across the country, as of 26 March 2020.

For her part, the UNMISS acting spokesperson, and Chief of Communications & Public Information, Francesca Mold stated in an email to Eye Radio that UNMISS is not limiting the movement of displaced families from the POCs.

“UNMISS is not limiting the movement of displaced families from the POCs. Questions about any security measures impacting on the movement of South Sudanese citizens should be put to the Government and security forces,” Francesca said.

Meanwhile, SSPDF Spokesperson Maj.-Gen. Lul Ruai Koang trashed the complaints, saying: “We are being blamed for actions that we have not done.”

But the IDP leaders told Eye Radio that has been pointing with guns those who tried to leave the camp, mainly in Juba and Malakal.

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