Fear as the country enters five days without coronavirus update

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

The National Taskforce on Coronavirus (COVID-19) has remained mute for the last five days without updating the public on the status of the virus in the country raising fears that the infection rate might have worsened.

The last time the Taskforce gave an update was on Wednesday last week and a record of 188 new infections cases were confirmed that brought the total to 994 in the Country since the first case was reported in early April this year.

Already ten patients have died and six have recovered as of last week, according to last update.

Dr. Makur Matur Koriom, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health who is also the Secretary of the National Taskforce said they were putting information sharing strategy in place to be able to embark on daily update

“We felt that what we were providing was only giving figures but not much detail about the figures,” he said

 “So we are actually putting some point of work in place. Hopefully in a couple of days, we will be able to provide full details about whatever information that we release. This is what is happening,” he added

“The work involves other players, including data processing personnel. So hopefully in few days to come we shall be able to get back to you people with a lot more detailed information than what we have been doing,”  

Civil Society activists who spoke to Juba Monitor said the silence of the Taskforce sends a bad signal about its failure to properly contain the virus.

Peter Malir Biar, the Executive Director of Christian Agency for Peace and Development (CAPaD) said the slowdown in updating the public on the pandemic situation as usual was a complete failure of the system. 

“Failure to report to the people shows some negligence and irresponsibility to the need of the people,” he said

“It is disappointing and heartbreaking to see the Taskforce at the moment relaxing when the country is faced with COVID-19 infection” Malir added.

 “We want to urge the government and of course the taskforce to be able to get back to work and leave other petty things.”

Rajab Mohandis, Executive Director at the Organization for Responsive Governance (ORG) said that the failure of the National Taskforce to consider regular and clear communications to the public in the past few days was quite a concern.

“It leaves people confused about what is happening and what is being done to control the pandemic,” he said

“This silence is worrying the civil population. People are getting anxious and confused. And I think it is important the taskforce continuously update the public to ensure the guidelines and actions provided are implemented so that the spread of this disease is contained,” he said.

He said if the country continued in the next days without update on coronavirus, the population would likely to be besieged by the pandemic situation. 

“When people have no information on the pandemic, people think the virus is over. They will just behave the way they want by ignoring the guidelines,”

“The update help people to know that this disease is at this stage and this is can be done the rate of fatalities and with that it will bring the people fear that if they do not control themselves or follow the guidelines, this thing will not be good for them.”

As of the last update provided on Wednesday last week, the Country had recorded 994 cases with ten deaths and six recoveries.

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