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S Sudan eases restrictions as coronavirus cases surge

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: Friday, May 8, 2020

An aerial view of a section of Juba International Airport, April 2019 | Credit | Obaj Okuj/Eye Radio

South Sudan has begun to ease some lock down restrictions, including constraints on travel and trade, despite a surge in coronavirus cases.

Cases of Covid-19 in South Sudan so far stand at 90 after 16 new infections were confirmed on Thursday.

In the latest directive by the Presidency, businesses including bars, restaurants, Boda Boda, Rickshaws, and others will now be allowed to reopen during non-curfew hours.

The Presidency has also reduced curfew time from the previous 7pm-6 am to start from 10pm to 6am.

On March 22, the government announced a partial lockdown of the country, before registering any case of COVID-19.

It closed shops, non-food markets, bars, and all learning institutions as preventive measures against the pandemic.

Interstate travels were also banned and regional flights suspended.

But on Thursday evening, the Presidency, in its fourth meeting, announced the easing of some of the restrictions despite an upsurge in new cases in the past week.

“…bars will re-open during the none-curfew hours but should strictly observe social distancing,” Mayiik Ayii, minister in the Office of the President, read out the resolutions to reporters.

“Three, shops and stores will re-open but the sellers and buyers should observe social distancing and allow a maximum of at least five persons in a shop or store at a time.

“Four, boda-boda and rickshaw transport will resume with only one passenger on a boda-boda and two passengers for Rickshaws. However, both rider and passengers must wear a mask at all times.”

The Presidency also resolved that regional flights and road transport shall resume soon, but details are yet to be issued by the taskforce.

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