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Dr. Gai dispels Juba coronavirus rumors

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Friday, February 7, 2020

Health Minister Dr Riek Gai addresses reporters in Juba on Friday, Feb 7, 2020 | Credit | Charles Wote\Eye Radio

The Minister of Health has dismissed rumors of a suspected coronavirus case in Juba, saying the country is free of the virus.

The rumor emerged after a clinical report of a suspected Chinese man was widely circulated on social media.

According to the clinical report, the 38-year-old Chinese engineer returned to South Sudan on 23 January and had been in good health until 4 February when he developed fever, sore throat; general body weakness, and headache.

The patient was then reportedly isolated at Infectious Disease Unit for further management and follow up.

At a press conference in Juba on Friday, the Minister of Health, Dr. Riek Gai said the patient tested negative of the virus.

“The Chinese suspect was stabilized at Infectious Diseases Center behind Dr. John Garang Diagnostic center,” Dr. Gai told the media.

“So, our team collected the sample and immediately sent it to Entebbe for testing, because we have the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe.

“The result came last night, that it is negative, which is good news for us. So the patient will be discharged today.”

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome.

New figures show the virus has killed 636 people and infected 31,161 in mainland China.

The virus has spread overseas with confirmed infections in at least 25 nations.

So far, there have been only two deaths outside of mainland China – one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

Due to the global spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency.

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