South Sudan President Salva Kiir rallied the nation Monday to join efforts in containing the spread of coronavirus, while rubbishing reports that he has contracted the virus himself.
Kiir termed as propaganda reports that he had been flown to Egypt for specialized treatment and reassigned his duty to a top aide.
“I have never gone for refuge since I was young. And I will stay here and die here. I am one of those people who said my bones will be buried in South Sudan … there has never been any reassignment of duties of the president. The public should not delve into propaganda,” Kiir said
“The disease we are fighting we are fighting does not differentiate whether this is a Muslim or Christian, Dinka or Acholi, SPLM or SPLM-IO and therefore this is the unforgiving monster in the room,” he said.
Last week South Sudan’s vice president Riek Machar and nine other members of a high-level task force to fight COVID-19, tested positive for the virus. They have all since been put in self-isolation.
Kiir called on the country to to adhere to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, warning that the country’s healthcare system could be overwhelmed if things got worse.
“If we are not careful enough, then such numbers will shoot up and we will be in a very deplorable state as a country to contain it,” Kiir said.
The Ministry announced 151 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 806.
“On Monday, we confirmed 151 new cases. They were results from samples collected from people who wanted to travel to states, others were alerts from various zones in Juba and others were collected from suspects,’’ Dr Loi Thuoi, Health ministry spokesman told journalists in Juba on Monday.
The ministry said the sharp rise was as a result of the continued disregard for health guidelines by the public.
“The increase in cases is not to be blamed on anybody but the public who have refused to adhere to WHO preventive measures. Currently, the Ministry with partners are working hard to widen public awareness campaign,” added Dr Loi.