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A coronavirus test result delays Kiir’s visit to Qatar

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Tuesday, November 9, 2021

President Salva Kiir shakes hands with Mayiik Ayii, minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in in Juba September 2021 | Credit | Courtesy

The minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has tested positive for Covid-19 in Doha, forcing the presidential advance team to undergo quarantine in Qatar, the press secretary in the office of the president has said.

The high-level government delegation which arrived in Doha on Sunday, was to hold meetings with the Qatari government, ahead of President Kiir’s first ever working visit to the Gulf country.

The two countries were expected to discuss bilateral relations.

These include peace, security, economy, trade and infrastructure.

The delegation – which is headed up by the Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs, Tut Gatluak – comprises of the ministers of foreign affairs, finance, investment, roads and bridges, higher education, and agriculture

Others are the governor of central bank, managing director of the state oil firm Nilepet and secretary general of Islamic affairs.

But upon arrival in Doha, they underwent another test for Covid-19.

“The minister of foreign affairs was found positive, so the rest were treated as contacts,” Ateny Wek told Eye Radio on Tuesday.

The minister of Foreign Affairs, Mayiik Ayii was confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus.

He was then immediately isolated and quarantined.

The rest of the delegates were considered direct contacts of Ayii and were also quarantined.

This include Athian Diing, Dhieu Mathok, Simon Mijok Majak, Gabriel Changson, Josephine Joseph Lagu, Rizik Zacharia, Dier Tong, Chol Deng Thon and Abdellah Baraj.

According to Ateny Wek, all of them are now on mandatory quarantine.

“As soon as the days of the mandatory quarantine elapses, the president and his delegation will be going to Qatar any other time within this month,” he added.

A similar test result impacted forced the International Football Association (FIFA) to officially postpone the South Sudan-Jordan match in FIFA Arab Cup qualifiers in Doha in June 2021.


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