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INDIA - 30 Mar 2020

South Sudanese students in India lack food amid coronavirus lockdown

 South Sudanese students on government scholarships in India said they lack food and basic necessities following a nationwide lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.

Martha Akoi, a student in Punjab state, told Radio Tamazuj on Friday that the lockdown denies them access to basic services.

“Currently, some of us lack food because markets are closed. We used to cook, but now we are locked down and we were not prepared for it. We cannot even access medical services,” she said.

 Monychok Bulis, another student, said the lockdown has worsened the situation of some South Sudanese students. “Now, money transfers have stopped. We could not receive money from our parents,” he explained.

Francis Lopir Lopuke, the representative of South Sudanese students in India, said they are more than 2,500 in various parts of India.

“We are all affected by the lockdown, but none of us is reported to have contracted coronavirus. We heed to medical advice,” he said.

He urged South Sudan’s government to intervene before their situation deteriorates further.

The high level committee on COVID-19 headed by President Salva Kiir recently approved $3 million to cater for needs of students abroad. 

Although South Sudan has not registered any case of coronavirus, it is stepping up efforts to prevent the new deadly pandemic.

The government has suspended schools and closed all airports and land crossings over fears about the spread of coronavirus.