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South Sudan confirms first coronavirus case


South Sudan confirmed it first coronavirus case on Sunday afternoon, being the last country to join the rest of the East African countries embattling the global pandemic.

Speaking on Sunday at press conference in Juba, First Vice-President Riek Machar, who is also the deputy chairman of South Sudan’s High-Level Taskforce on coronavirus, confirmed the case.

“The Ministry of Health’s Rapid Response Team went to the clinic and collected the samples the same day. The initial test came positive. A second run of the confirmatory test also returned positive,” said Dr Machar on Sunday.

“The patient is a 29 year old female who arrived in the country from Netherlands via Addis Ababa on February 28, 2020. She has no history of underlying or pre-existing illness. She is currently in isolation and is in good health,” he added.

For South Sudan, it was always a matter of when not if the novel coronavirus disease would arrive in its territory.

Recovering from a seven-year civil, the country hosts many expatriates as UN workers, peacekeepers and businesspeople. It also imports almost everything, meaning interaction with the outside world is routine.

On Sunday, the Taskforce urged all citizens to follow and respect preventive measures issued by Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation.

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