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School shutdown over COVID-19 surging cases in Nimule

Officials addressing Press Conference during weekly corona virus briefing in Juba on Sunday (Photo: Manyuon Mayen)
By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon, Juba 

A secondary school in South Sudan’s Nimule town of Eastern Equatoria State has been shut down due to surging cases of coronavirus pandemic, the Director for the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre of the Ministry of Health has confirmed. 

Dr. Angelo Goup Thon, the director said that at least 20 students were diagnosed positive of the virus about three days ago in that particular learning institution; a move that led to its closure ahead of further investigations. 

“The school is not functioning because of the cases. They (students) have some break for the assessment to be done,” he said during coronavirus weekly media briefing on Sunday in Juba. 

“So, one of the things we are going to look at is how infection prevention and control guidelines were being implemented in the school. These include hand-washing, social distancing and use of face masks,” he added.  

The health official couldn’t disclose the name of the school, citing physiological safety of the institution and the students. 

“For us as health professionals, we protect the identity of the patients and also the institutions, so what I can say is that it is one of the boarding schools in Nimule and the cases were reported from there,” Dr. Angelo stated. 

The Ministry’s health authorities revealed that an assessment team has been constituted to investigate the situation in Nimule.

It is not yet clear whether the school will reopen or not as the designated health crew travels there on Tuesday. 

“We don’t have enough information about this; where cases come from in our data base show the cases originality, so we will have more information when we are back from Nimule after 4 days from now,” Dr. Angelo reiterated. 

Dr. John Rumunu, the Director General of the Preventive Health Services, who also doubles as the acting coronavirus incident Manager said the confirmed positive cases are underhome-based care. 

“There is no severe case, they (students) are all okay, so they are all under home-based care,” he stated. 

The positive cases are managed according to standard operating procedures, the official added. 

As of August 20, at least 128 contacts have been listed but they might increase in the course of the time depending on the contacts tracing. 

It is a first time Nimule Town at the border of Uganda suffers highest cases in a week since the pandemic broke out in South Sudan.

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