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Sudan epidemiologist warns for fourth COVID-19 wave

The Sudanese Ministry of Health yesterday reported that 252 new corona virus cases were recorded on Monday. Four patients died. The director of the Khartoum Epidemiology Department has warned for a large fourth wave.

Most of the 252 new COVID-19 cases, 219, were registered in Khartoum. Neighbouring El Gezira recorded 12 cases, and River Nile state bordering Khartoum in the north reported nine cases. Two patients died in El Gezira and two in River Nile state.

The Ministry of Health renewed its calls on the people to wear face masks, keep to social distancing, wash their hands regularly with sterilisers, or else with soap and water, avoid shaking hands, and promptly test in case of symptoms.

Mohamed El Tijani, Director of the Epidemiology Department of Khartoum, warned for a large fourth wave in light of the limited capabilities of the isolation centres in the state.

He said that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Khartoum doubled within a week. In the first week of January, 792 new cases were recorded in the capital, while 336 cases were registered in the last week of December. At least 42 corona virus patients died in the first week of this year.

Early December, hospital managers in Khartoum warned of 'an imminent collapse' in the provision of health services, as Health Ministry support has dwindled since the October 25 coup.

According to a report published by the Imperial College London COVID-19 Response Team in December 2020, an estimated two per cent of all COVID-19 deaths are recorded in Sudan.

The Health Ministry said in mid-December that Sudan was officially still free of the Omicron variant.

Sudan was the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to receive COVID-19 vaccines via the international COVAX Facility coalition. In October last year, the federal Ministry of Health announced the availability of corona vaccines for all Sudanese over 18 years, and called on all states of Sudan to provide vaccination opportunities for the mentioned age groups in order to reach the target number of citizens, which is 20 per cent, equivalent to eight million people. About two million people have been vaccinated so far.

[Source: Dabanga, Khartoum, Sdn, 12Jan22]

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