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Airport authorities warn of coronavirus outbreak

By Kitab A Unango

The likelihood of coronavirus entering the country through Juba International Airport remains very high due to neglect of screening of some domestic passengers, the airport authorities have warned.

Kur Kuol Ajieu, Director of Juba International Airport voiced the warning after receiving a report of some passengers arriving by domestic flights failed to be screened due to absence of health officials.

He said minimizing threats posed by local travelers entering the capital through the airport, puts the country and the people at a high risk given the incapacity of the nation at the moment to manage the virus in case of any outbreak.

The official promised they would investigate those health officials and immigration officers why screenings of domestic flight’s passengers were being given light attention upon arrival.

 “I will investigate and I am not going to allow such to happen again,” Kuol told Juba Monitor on phone yesterday.

Juba Monitor leant that most of passengers of domestic flights that normally arrive in the evening hour were not being screened for the virus over the past two weeks.

Despite the government’s recent suspension of some international flights and ordering every arrival to be screened and placed on self-quarantine for at least two weeks, Kuol said some government officials are defying the order.

“There is resistance from some South Sudanese arriving from other countries, but we will try our level best to bring them to the law,” he says.

Currently the virus is not yet confirmed in the landlocked South Sudan the fact the neighboring Kenya, Ethiopian, DR Congo and Central Africa Republic have already confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the country stands a high chance of getting the virus.

The National Ministry of Health set a screening center at Juba International Airport in a bid to prevent the virus from entering the country.

However, South Sudan Ambassador to China, John Anduruga, now placed on self-quarantine upon arriving from Beijing last week, told the media he was worried over the poor measures at the airport to contain the virus.

Kuol again pointed out that foreign nationals, especially from countries with local transmission tricked their ways in the country through neighboring Ethiopia and Kenya, putting South Sudan at a high risk.

“Some foreign nationals are connecting to Juba through Ethiopia because we have already stopped flights Dubai and Egypt Air,” he added.

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