JUBA – The high United Nations official in South Sudan says 57 staff with the U.N. mission there have examined constructive for COVID-19 since April.
David Shearer mentioned the peacekeepers might have contracted the virus because of what he described as “continuous close interactions with the South Sudanese population.”
Shearer advised VOA’s South Sudan In Focus the instances embrace the elements of army, police and civilian personnel primarily based at a U.N. camp within the capital, Juba.
“Forty-five of these have recovered and sadly one individual has died and that’s throughout the army, the police and civilian members. And it actually displays that our individuals are working carefully with the South Sudanese, transferring round and speaking to them, and assembly. So, indirectly it’s not stunning we’ve got that quantity and much more as time goes on,” he mentioned.
The instances make up solely a small fraction of the roughly 16,000 personnel with the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The first case of COVID-19 in South Sudan was a U.N. civilian worker who traveled to the nation from the Netherlands in February. Health officers in Juba mentioned she didn’t current any signs till a number of weeks after her arrival.
The second and third instances have been additionally U.N. workers who had hyperlinks with the primary case.
Shearer, the U.N. secretary-general’s particular consultant in South Sudan, mentioned a few of the mission staff examined constructive because of what he calls “hyperlinks” with South Sudanese individuals.
“Nearly all of that has come from the South Sudanese population because we have very little influx of our people coming into the country and anyone coming into the country is quarantined for 14 days. So, we are confident that we are not bringing the virus in from outside. So, it is certainly all coming from communities prevalent in South Sudan,” he mentioned.
The UNMISS chief mentioned his workplace is taking further precautions to make sure that troops and different personnel should not shaken by the variety of constructive instances.
Shearer mentioned the virus additionally might have unfold among the many internally displaced individuals sheltering at crowded U.N.-run camps within the nation.
“Given that the POC (protection of civilian) sites are pretty congested, that means that there is a greater possibility of people contracting it. Although we have put in a lot of education about the spread of coronavirus, and additional water, soap and things like that so that people can take proper precaution, it is likely that it has taken over the POC sites,” he mentioned.
Shearer didn’t disclose the variety of internally displaced individuals who’ve examined constructive for COVID-19.
He mentioned regardless of the pandemic, UNMISS continues to discharge its mandate usually and reply to safety wants of the affected inhabitants. He mentioned any UNMISS employee who checks constructive for the virus is straight away remoted and their job is roofed by different workers members.
According to knowledge launched by well being officers on Tuesday, South Sudan has registered a complete of two,007 COVID-19 constructive instances, 279 recoveries and 38 deaths.