Ministry needs USD 5M for coronavirus

By Wek Atak Kacjang

The national Ministry of Health has proposed five million US dollars to prepare the country against the spread of Coronavirus.

Although no case of coronavirus has been confirmed in South Sudan, countries within the region including Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda Somalia and DRC have declared outbreak of Coronavirus.      Addressing the press yesterday during the first Council of Ministers’ Meeting, Michael Makuei Lueth Minister of Information who doubles as Government Spokesperson said the Ministry of Health with support from the international partners has put in place serious measures to protect the country from the spread of Coronavirus.

“It is time that government takes lead in the realization of this budget. I therefore appeal to honorable Council of Ministers to consider approving this amount,” Makuei said.

He added that the public health emergency operation Center located at the public health laboratory serves as nerve center to coordinate with partners and response mechanism to public health emergency.

He further said the facility has world class facility for testing, diagnosis and unconfirmed cases of COVID-19 and many other viruses like Ebola.

The official acknowledged challenge of inadequate testing kids in the face of any outbreak of COVID-19 into the country. However, he said through the support from the World Health Organization and United States Center for Disease Prevention and Control they have acquired some testing kits.

“We have procured 300 testing kits and China has donated 500 testing kits which are expected to arrive to the country in the coming days. We have to install ceremony scan at Juba International Airport and Nimule, work is on progress to install similar facility in Yambio, Wau,” Makuei explained.

Makuei added that the Ministry of Health with support from the international partners has established isolation quarantine center at Dr. John Garang Infectious Disease and Diagnostic Center.

He said the facility can accommodate up to 30 patients, however he said more space shall be needed in case of outbreak.

The Ministry of Health has planned to train more health care workers to enhance the testing surveillance and case management capabilities.

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