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BEIJING - 12 Feb 2020

South Sudan embassy in China forms committee to monitor coronavirus

File photo: Ambassador John Adruga
File photo: Ambassador John Adruga

South Sudan’s embassy in China has formed a committee to regularly monitor the situation of its citizens in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, a diplomat said.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Tuesday, South Sudan’s ambassador to China, John Andruga Duku said a committee, headed by his deputy, has been tasked to pay particular attention to South Sudanese students in Wuhan city.

He revealed that the embassy had issued directives and advised South Sudanese nationals in Wuhan city to stay indoors and adhere to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

Duku said there is no case of infection among the 33 South Sudanese students in Wuhan, a city where people are quarantined.

The South Sudanese diplomat pointed out that the embassy is in daily contact and coordination with the Chinese embassy in the capital Juba, through the Foreign Affairs ministry, on developments regarding coronavirus.

"We do not have plans to evacuate our students from the city of Wuhan, because transporting them to South Sudan is risky,” he said.

Duku revealed that embassy staff manage their office work from home, except in an emergency situation.

The virus was first detected in the Chinese city in December last year.  It has so far killed at least 1,113 people and infected 44, 653 others globally, the vast majority of them in China.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday proposed an official name for the illness caused by the new coronavirus: COVID-19. The acronym stands for coronavirus disease 2019, as the illness was first detected toward the end of last year.