Ministry fails to locate over 600 suspected cases

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

As Public Health Laboratory reported 11 fresh coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the Public Emergency Operations Center has revealed that the Ministry of Health has failed to locate over 600 suspected coronavirus cases.

The Centre said they have faced a challenge of locating up to 634 suspected cases that entered the country since the pandemic broke out.

“The number of hard to reach cases is 634, you know, what we mean by hard to reach cases, are those who entered the country in the point of interests and they have either presented wrong details or never collected their results,” said Dr. Angelo Goup Thon, the Chief of Operations for COVID-19 at the Emergency Operations Center.  

This week, the Ministry of Health warned travelers of possible implications for presenting wrong details upon arrival at Juba International Airport as well as refusing mandatory follow up.

Dr. Angelo revealed that most of the hard to reach cases were registered from border points of entry like Nimule.

“We have been doing screening at the point of interests, like in Nimule. We have tracks’ drivers that do come to the country, and we test them, and once they have entered to the country, it is very difficult to reach them,” he explained.  

“Some proceed to Malakal as well as other States. And even some do not also have phone numbers, so they end up giving wrong numbers that make it difficult for us (Ministry of Health) to relocate them; as time goes on, we are not able to reach them,” Dr. Angelo added.

In the latest development, Nimule town has registered more cases of COVID-19 as opposed to other testing mobile laboratories.

In the related note, Nimule which has 7 new confirmed cases was followed by Public Health Laboratory that reported 4 cases in the last 24 hours.

Currently, South Sudan has recorded 2,660 cases of coronavirus as a cumulative tally.

Dr. Angelo stated that the Rapid Response team on coronavirus was now following 539 as active cases of coronavirus in the country.

Out of the cumulative figure, 1,438 are recoveries as 49 remain fatalities.

Though there seems a challenge in the follow up, Dr. Angelo said that they were able to follow up to 8,000 suspected cases amid challenges.

“The number of contacts currently under follow up is 290; our teams have followed up this number. Secondly, the number of contacts reached as Tuesday this week is 237. So we have registered 8,340 contacts that have finished their 14 days follow up,” he said.

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