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Gov’t, UN questioned on coronavirus report

By Kitab A Unango

The handling of the first coronavirus case by the government and the United Nations (UN) still begs questions about their transparency in giving accurate and factual information about the virus, said civil society activist.

On Sunday, both the government’s High Level Taskforce on Coronavirus and the United Nations made first confirmation report of the coronavirus in the country.

The undetailed report revealed a 29 old female UN staff who has spent more than 30 days in the country since her arrival on February 28th via Ethiopia suffered from the virus.

According to the UN, the patient has been working from home when she arrived in the country.

But the activist said they were concerned because the High Level Taskforce and the United Nations did not provide adequate information on the patient and the likelihood of other people being infected.

The activists demanded more details about the patient and how the government and the UN would ensure that her contacts would not spread the virus in the country.

The Executive Director of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance (FODAG) Jame David Kolok, demanded that the Taskforce be transparent in dealing with the pandemic and earn public trust given the country’s incapacity to combat the virus.

“When the announcement was made yesterday (Sunday) that South Sudan has registered one case, that means the country has to be transparent as much information as possible because ultimately the citizens must have a confidence on the High Level Taskforce in terms of what they actually say,”  Kolok said.

“There should have been considerable number of people who entered the country together with the patient whose status are not known to both the government and the UN.”

The chairperson of South Sudan Youth Organization Coalition, Christine Kide said they were not happy with the report given the period the patient has spent in the country.

“We are not comfortable with the report of the case because they are saying the person arrived on February 28th and the confirmed case is on April 5th. We do not understand the report. If the women came on 29th of February, she encountered many people and that is already a thread,” she said.

“She has been engaging many people and how comes they didn’t know? Was she quarantined? If she was not, UN has to answer because where she came from there were already cases,” Kide questioned.

She added, “UN should answer questions about the women or they are just hiding information from the public.”

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