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Activist criticizes ‘reckless’ easing of lockdown

Author: Elshiekh Chol | Published: Sunday, May 10, 2020

File: Businesses at the Customs market operate largely without observing anti-coronavirus measures

An activist has warned that South Sudan risks a full-blown coronavirus outbreak if it continues with what he describes as reckless decisions by the government.

James Kolok noted that, with the cases of the coronavirus on the rise, there are less public safety measures put in place.

His comments follow last week’s decision by the Presidency to ease some lockdown restrictions including constraints on travel and trade, despite an increase in cases of coronavirus.

South Sudan’s coronavirus cases on Friday shot up from 90 to 120.

Regardless of the surge in cases, the Civil Aviation Authority on Saturday announced the resumption of interstate and regional flights as directed by the taskforce on coronavirus.

In March, the government suspended flights and closed borders to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Executive Director of the Foundation for Development and Accountable Governance labelled the move by the government as irresponsible.

“When you look at the rate of infection in Uganda and compare to South Sudan, you will note that the rate of infection here is very high and yet we do not necessarily have all the capacity to be able to respond to this,” said James Kolok.

He emphasized that told millions of people are being put at risk by the hasty decision to lift the restrictions.

“If we continue to make some of these reckless decisions and say we are not able to set proper measures to contain this disease, it will not be surprising to see the rate of infection in South Sudan top every rate in the region,” Kolok told Eye Radio.

South Sudan’s Doctor’s Union and some officials at the Ministry of Health have also criticized the decision to ease the lockdown saying it will hurt the fragile health system.

Last week, the head of the World Health Organization warned that countries lifting restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus risk having to re-impose them if they do not ease them with extreme caution.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom stresses that early case-finding, testing, isolation and care – as well as tracing every contact of infected persons is crucial to stop the spread of the virus.

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