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South Sudan- Covid-19

South Sudan VP Machar and defence minister test positive for Covid-19

South Sudan's First Vice President Riek Machar takes the oath of office at the State House in Juba, 22 February 2020. Angelina Teny, South Sudan's Defense Minister and his wife, is to his left.
South Sudan's First Vice President Riek Machar takes the oath of office at the State House in Juba, 22 February 2020. Angelina Teny, South Sudan's Defense Minister and his wife, is to his left. REUTERS/Jok Solomun

South Sudan vice president Riek Machar and defence minister Angelina Teny tested positive for Covid-19, according to his office on Monday.

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The statement said that “a number of his office staff and bodyguards” also tested positive.

Machar announced on state television that both he and Teny, who is his wife, would self-isolate for 14 days in their home.

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded South Sudan has 285 cases and six deaths, but aid workers in place worry that the number could grow exponentially after officials reported two cases in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp outside Juba, the capital.

“The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) fears that if the virus takes hold it could be particularly devastating to communities already suffering from years of war and violence,” according to an ICRC statement.

The two cases were located in an overcrowded camp where tens of thousands of IDPs live. Social distancing and regular hand washing are not easy to apply in the camp.

 

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