COVID-19 pandemic in South Sudan

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COVID-19 pandemic in South Sudan
COVID-19 Cases in South Sudan.svg
Map of cases by state as of 8 May. Some cases are not shown if their location is unknown
  0 cases or no data
  1–9 cases
  10–49 cases
  50–99 cases
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationSouth Sudan
Arrival date5 April 2020
(1 month, 3 weeks and 2 days)
Confirmed cases994[1]
Active cases641 (as of 23 May)

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached South Sudan on April 5, 2020. As of May 27, there are 994 confirmed cases and 10 deaths due to COVID-19 in South Sudan.


Prevention efforts[edit]

On 14 March, South Sudan suspended flights to countries affected by coronavirus.[3] On 20 March, classes in all schools and universities were suspended until 19 April, and Vice President Hussein Abdelbagi ordered the suspension of sporting, social, political, and religious gatherings for 6 weeks.[4] This was followed on 25 March by a nighttime curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.[5][6] On 27 March, around 500 people in quarantine from Sudan escaped in Renk, leading to northern Upper Nile State being placed under lockdown for 14 days.[7] From 25 March, after the coronavirus reached Mali, to 5 April 2020, South Sudan was the largest country by area without any confirmed cases of COVID-19.

April 2020[edit]

On 5 April, the first case of COVID-19 in the country was confirmed in a 29-year-old patient, a United Nations worker who arrived on 28 February from the Netherlands[5] via Ethiopia.[8] South Sudan thus became the 51st African country (out of 54) to confirm a case.[5] The patient was quarantined at a UN facility and contact tracing efforts were undertaken.

The second case of COVID-19 was confirmed on 7 April; the patient was another female United Nations worker, aged 53, who arrived from Nairobi on 23 March and self-quarantined.[9] The third case on 9 April was also a female United Nations worker who had been in contact with the first patient.[10]

On 9 April, the Ministry of General Education announced it was preparing a distance learning program for primary and secondary school students via radio and television.[11] On 13 April, South Sudan suspended flights and public transportation between the states and between Juba and the states.[12]

Unlike the first cases, the fifth and sixth cases on 23 and 25 April were confirmed to be South Sudanese nationals.[13]

After 28 people tested positive on 28 April, the curfew was extended to be from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., all restaurants were only allowed to be takeout, and all passenger boda bodas were banned.[14]

South Sudan has a population of 11 million people, but only four ventilators.[5]

May 2020[edit]

Although cases were still increasing, South Sudan began the process of reopening on 7 May. The curfew was decreased to 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., boda bodas were allowed to have one passenger and rickshaws two passengers, if both the driver and the passengers wore face masks, and shops were allowed to reopen with a maximum of five occupants at a time.[15] On 12 May airports were reopened for local, regional, and international flights.[16]

On 14 May, South Sudan reported its first death from COVID-19.[17]

On 18 May, First Vice President Riek Machar announced he and his wife, Angelina Teny, had tested positive for the virus.[18] Another Vice President, Hussein Abdelbagi, the head of the COVID-19 Task Force, tested positive on May 27.[1]



  1. ^ a b c "COVID-19: VP Hussein infected; tally hits 994". Radio Tamazuj. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  2. ^ Michael 🇸🇸, Wani (23 May 2020). "Updates; South Sudan confirms new 92 #COVID19 cases. It has also recorded 2 Deaths from the community. This bring the total number of Covid-19 cases in South Sudan to 655. With 641 Active cases, 6 Recoveries and 8 Deaths. #SSOT". @WaniMichael57. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  3. ^ "South Sudan halts flights to countries affected by coronavirus". Radio Tamazuj. Archived from the original on 16 March 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  4. ^ "South Sudan closes schools, universities amid coronavirus fears". Radio Tamazuj. Archived from the original on 21 March 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Mayra Ajack, South Sudan 51st of 54 African nations to report virus case, Associated Press (5 April 2020).
  6. ^ "South Sudan imposes nighttime curfew over coronavirus". Radio Tamazuj. Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Northern Upper Nile under lockdown after citizens escaped from quarantine". Radio Tamazuj. Archived from the original on 28 March 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  8. ^ "South Sudan confirms first case of coronavirus". Reuters. 5 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  9. ^ "South Sudan confirms second case of coronavirus". Radio Tamazuj. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  10. ^ "South Sudan records third case of COVID-19". Radio Tamazuj. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Education ministry to launch distance learning for students". Radio Tamazuj. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  12. ^ "South Sudan suspends interstate travels over COVID-19". Radio Tamazuj. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  13. ^ "South Sudan records its sixth coronavirus case". Radio Tamazuj. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  14. ^ "COVID-19: South Sudan reviews curfew as cases rise to 34". Radio Tamazuj. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  15. ^ "South Sudan loosens restrictions even as coronavirus cases increase". Radio Tamazuj. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  16. ^ "South Sudan reopens airports amid rise in COVID-19 cases". Radio Tamazuj. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  17. ^ "South Sudan records first COVID-19 death as cases rise". Radio Tamazuj. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Dr. Riek Machar and wife test positive for COVID-19". Eye Radio. 18 May 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.

See also[edit]