Covid-19: UN to sanction staffer that escaped quarantine in S.Sudan

Wednesday April 22 2020

Juba International Airport

Juba International Airport. South Sudan has opened airports across the country and announced the resumption of both domestic and international flights. PHOTO | AKUOT CHOL | AFP 

GARANG A. MALAK
By GARANG A. MALAK
More by this Author

A United Nations employee in South Sudan is facing disciplinary action from the global body after he reportedly left the country despite being under quarantine over suspected Covid-19.

The move followed revelations by South Sudan’s High-Level Taskforce on coronavirus which said the staffer had left the country under unclear circumstances, thus breaking isolation rules imposed on him.

The taskforce, chaired by First Vice President Riek Machar, claimed the official whose identity was not revealed left the country via a UN aircraft.

He had been in contact with an infected person and hence was required to stay isolated for 14 days.

“The taskforce has learnt with the dismay of one of the listed ninety-nine contacts has secretly travelled out of South Sudan aboard a United Nations flight and has since arrived their home country. This is in clear contravention of Internal Health Regulations (IHR 2005),” it said.

“The taskforce condemns the act in the strongest terms possible, holds the UN system in South Sudan accountable for any unseemly events that may ensue and urges WHO-South Sudan office to provide further clarifications on the matter.”

Advertisement

The UN did confirm that the staffer had left the country in violation of those measures, but says he escaped via commercial flight.

It's still not clear how this was possible since South Sudan has shut its international airport to restrict the spread of Covid-19.

Advertisement