The government has banned international flights as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus.
The decision, which was reached by the recently formed high-level committee for Covid-19 last evening, comes after all South Sudan neighbors confirmed cases of the virus.
As of this morning, Uganda has 8 cases while Kenya confirmed 16.
The virus, which was first reported in China in December last year, is said to be spreading to the whole world through international travels.
Most of the coronavirus patients in Africa tested positive after returning from European and Asian countries, including Italy, Germany and United Arab Emirates.
“All international flights destined for South Sudan – Juba international Airport – are advised to cease their operation by midnight, on Monday, 23 March 2020,” said Dr. Makur Koriom, undersecretary of the Ministry of Health
However, Dr. Koriom went on to say that there are exceptions, including cargo planes importing food items and medical supplies.
The committee headed up by the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, also urged law enforcement agencies to implement earlier orders announced by President Salva Kiir, encouraging social distancing.
On March 16, 2020, President Salva Kiir banned all gatherings, including sporting and religious events, weddings, and political activities due to Coronavirus fears.
But these orders were violated at the weekend when some church services and traditional wrestling match were conducted in Juba.
“The taskforce…instructs the law enforcement agencies – the police, military and National Security forces – to take immediate actions to enforce these orders,” he added.
So far, several coronavirus cases have been confirmed in most African countries, including the neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and DR Congo.
The tally continent-wide thus stands at 1,400 and over with 40 plus deaths. Nigeria, The Gambia and Zimbabwe have reported their first deaths as of today. In all, 43 countries have registered cases with Egypt’s 294 followed by South Africa and Algeria with 274 and 201 respectively.
According to WHO, you can protect yourself and family from coronavirus by washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
The UN health agency also advises that you must practice respiratory hygiene; this means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
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