By Simon Deng
Officials at South Sudan’s Ministry of Health have warned of rise in COVID-19 infections due to laxity within the public.
Mary Denis, Director for Health Education in Health Ministry revealed that they are confirming COVID-19 deaths outside health centers largely due to negligence and failure by people to report to health centers for treatment.
A case in point is that of evangelical pastor who passed on recently in Juba after failing to report to the Public Health Emergency Center for testing and treatment.
“The last death over the weekend, the person who died I’m told is a pastor he did not want to come for testing until he died. People including, pastors and others in our communities do not believe it is Covid-19 or that you need to go for a test,” Denis told journalists in Juba on Sunday.
Denis cautioned the public to desist from conspiracy theories and other false narratives about COVID-19.
“There is still a lot to be done in terms of awareness to the communities on the dangers of the (COVID-19) disease,” she said.
John Rumunu, Director General for Preventive Health Services disclosed that COVID-19 cases are on the rise, adding that the pastor’s deathwas confirmed through mortality surveillance.
“The death recorded by mortality surveillance team indicates that there is ongoing transmission in the community, we are seeing varying number of cases the moving case count is increasing and the positivity rate stands at 2.3 percent,” said Rumunu.
He cautioned people to avoid crowding, wear face masks while in crowded places and also keep social distance.
“People should follow preventive measures strictly to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the country,” he noted.
Joseph Wamala, Emergency and Preparedness officerfor the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the new Delta variant and inequities in access to vaccines is the driving factor for the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
“We are still at a critical point with cases and deaths increasing, the transmission remains very high and the pandemic is nowhere near finish,” he said.
The Ministry of Health registered 9 new cases as of Sunday bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases to 11,003, recoveries stand are 10,751 and 118 fatalities since April 6th last year, when the first case was confirmed in the country.