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Health minister expects spread of coronavirus in Sudan

A volunteer disinfects passengers hands near a transport station in central Khartoum on Monday 16 March 2020 (ST photo)April 2, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Minister of Health expected the spread of Coronavirus in the country after the detection of seven confirmed cases coming from outside the country so far.

"From the seven cases, we fear and expect that the spread of the disease will start inside the country," said Akram Eltom in a daily press briefing about the respiratory disease.

Eltom further urged Sudanese to adhere and observe the measures taken to prevent the spread of the pandemic in Sudan.

"We call on the citizens to increase their cooperation and report suspected cases," he added.

The South Kordofan on Wednesday announced its first suspected case of a Sudanese who recently returned from Egypt.

The Sudanese government has adopted a number measures aiming to spread the spread of COVID-19 such as the closure of airports and border crossing points, a curfew as of 24 March from 08.00 pm to 06.00 am, ban of gatherings and closure of schools and universities.

The minister said that the government hope to reduce the spread of the disease by preventing gatherings and increasing the hours of the curfew in addition to the announced measures.

The minister added that an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers will take place on Thursday to discuss the health situation in the country and expected to announce additional measures in the country.

"Also another meeting with the advisory board of the Minister of Health will be held to provide the government with a full account of the pandemic, and to project what would happen in the country, the number of cases and strategies that can be taken to fight the disease," he said.

The minister pointed out that the pandemic has a negative impact not only on the health system but also on the economy, and all aspects of life particularly in poor countries like Sudan.

He also disclosed that two ministers and a minister of state voluntarily isolated themselves after having contact with confirmed cases, adding that this should be an example for others in dealing with this disease.

(ST)