KHARTOUM RESIDNTS REACT TO TOTAL LOCKDOWN DECISION
Some residents of Khartoum have mixed reaction towards the decision announced by the government to impose a three week’s lockdown on the the city, beginning Saturday April 18th. Some residents argue while the decision is good step towards preventing the spread of the COVID-19, but the decision has other life threat implications as well.
Mariam Is’haaq, is a mother of three, works as a tea vendor in Khartoum east. Is’haaq asks how will she survive during the lockdown? She says she depends on income from her work on the streets of Khartoum.
She said; “If I don’t go to work, I will not be able to get the daily bread for my kids.” “This will be a big problem on my side and many other families.” Is’haaq added.
She argues she can’t stay home for three weeks and earning nothing. “where can we get food to eat?”, Is’haaq asks.
Sudanese Health Minister Akram Al Tom t announced on Monday, that ten out of nearly 200 suspected cases have tested positive for Covid-19. He says the country has also recorded a first case of the virus in River Nile state, sparking fear that the pandemic is spreading to other cities.
Al Tom says two of the ten new cases have died, bringing the COVID 19 death toll to four since the pandemic was identified in Sudan early last month. He says the new cases of the virus are locally transmitted and urged people to avoid crowded places as possible.
“Community transmission is just the beginning a wide spread of this disease.” He said.
Mary Archangelo Anyar, is a South Sudanese studying pharmacology at Ahfaat University for Women in Omdurman. Archangelo says the lockdown is a good move to prevent the spread of covid-19 in Sudan.
“It is for our health [benefit] to stay at home because if we continue moving around like this, the cases will be more and that will affect us.”
Sudan’s Information Minister and government spokesperson Faisal Mohammed Saleh says the government has decided to impose a 21 day total lockdown of the capital beginning this Saturday to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“A technical committee will be working within the next three days, to draft details about how to go about the lockdown.” Saleh explained.
The Minister noted that, during these three weeks, a leave shall be granted to all public and private institutions, except companies or factories that are directly connected to the daily lives of citizens.
The health minister admits that the country lacks required medical equipment to deal with the pandemic.
“Our efforts to provide medical equipment are faced with a lot of challenges,” he said.
“We have been in communication with other friendly countries who are producing some equipment, but they have been telling us the truth that their countries are also in need.”
He added that the same thing applied to personal gear, gloves, masks and other protective measures for medical cadres, who are in daily contact with suspected and confirmed cases.
Health authorities in Sudan are encouraging residents to wash their hands frequently with soap and to avoid large gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.