South Sudan on Wednesday recorded 156 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the highest since the beginning of the year, according to its Public Health Laboratory.
This brings South Sudan’s tally to 4,960 cases since the outbreak of the global pandemic.
The country also recorded two new deaths, bringing the total number of Covid-19 fatalities to 71.
The country had tested 858 samples collected from various testing sites.
“The Public Health Lab alone tested 203 cases, out of those, 16 tested positive; Nimule border tested 29, 1 was positive; Med Blue tested 598 and 137 tested positive; while Nojum tested 24 and 2 cases were positive,” a statement seen by The EastAfrican said.
Dr Richard Lako, Covid-19 Incident Manager, said they are following up on 478 contacts.
Health care workers
At least 151 South Sudanese health workers across the country have contracted the deadly coronavirus since the outbreak of the disease in late April last year, according to the Public Health Laboratory.
Speaking during the Covid-19 weekly update at the weekend, Dr Angelo Goup Thon, the acting director of South Sudan’s Public Health Emergency Operative Center, said one health care worker has succumbed to the virus.
“At least eight heath workers are infected in Juba alone. If we add the previous 143 cumulative figures as of last week, then, we have a total number of 151 infected health care workers across the country.
“According to States’ sample analysis, Central Equatoria State has 108 cases, Eastern Equatoria with 9, Western Equatoria registered 2 cases as Northern Bhar-el Ghazel recorded a case. Western Bhar-el-Ghazel, Lakes, Warrap and Unity States registered 0 cases, while Jonglei State and Upper Nile States recorded 10 and 7 cases. Abyei, Reweng and Pibor Administrative Areas have 13, 1 and 0 cases, respectively,” he said.
Dr Thon said the majority of health care workers have recovered, but eight are still under home management care.
Last week, South Sudan National Taskforce on Covid-19 reintroduced a partial lockdown. The move came after a surge of Covid-19 cases, with the country recording 76 cases on February 2 alone.
South Sudan registered its first coronavirus case on April 5, 2020.
It imposed some restrictions last March, including the closure of borders and non-essential businesses, banning interstate travel and limiting public transport in order to curb the spread of the disease.
In May 2020, President Salva Kiir permitted businesses, including bars, restaurants, boda boda, rickshaw and others, to reopen.
The government also reduced the curfew time from the initial 7pm-6am to 10pm-6am, a move that was criticised by various South Sudanese stakeholders who described it as premature.