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JUBA - 27 Jul 2021

Covid-19: South Sudan witnesses resurgence, confirms Delta variant

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday said South Sudan is among the African countries witnessing a resurgence of the global Covid-19 pandemic and that the country has been put on an alert state.

In the past few months, South Sudan was recording a decline with less than 10 Covid-19 cases reported per day. 

The Ministry of Health recorded 49 confirmed cases out of 2,834 tests performed in the past one week with 9 cases confirmed in the last 24 hours. 

Speaking to journalists during a press briefing in Juba on Sunday, Dr. Joseph Wamalla, an epidemiologist and the WHO official in charge of emergency preparedness in South Sudan, said the country is among 16 African countries that are witnessing a resurgence of the coronavirus. 

“Overall, in Africa, we saw at least 10 countries reporting increasing trends in new cases. South Sudan is in that phase since it has recently reported an increasing number of cases. That means we need to continue encouraging and emphasizing the need to adhere to those (Covid-19) measures,” Dr. Wamalla said.

The WHO says Africa is currently experiencing its third wave and has seen 8 constant weeks of a resurgence across the continent.

Dr. Wamalla said about 26 countries in Africa including South Sudan have confirmed the Delta variant of Covid-19 which is more infectious. 

“In terms of the distribution of the highly transmissible Delta variant in the African region, 26 African countries have reported the Delta variant including South Sudan. The Alpha has been reported in 38 countries, the Beta in 35 countries, and the overall vulnerability in Africa remains very high,” Dr. Wamalla said.

For his part, Dr. John Rumunu, the Director-General for Preventive Health Services and acting Covid-19 incident manager at the ministry of health said in the last 24 hours they tested 394 samples with 9 samples returning positive. 

“This brings the total confirmed cases today (Sunday) to 11,003 cases confirmed in the country. And out of these samples, we have 135 under follow-up. Two of them are in Dr. John Garang Infectious Disease Control Unit, one is severe and one is in critical condition,” Dr. Rumunu said.

Since 5 April 2020, South Sudan has tested 193,436 samples for Covid-19. 

The WHO says there is no decline in cases in Africa with the continent recording a steep 8-week surge which is 80 percent higher in the continent when South Africa is excluded.