A former rebel leader cum peacemaker and the current second most powerful man in South Sudan. He was part of the team that,was tasked with handling coronavirus in south sudan. Unfortunately,he and a section of his team members have tested positive and are going into quarantine.
Riek Machar, South Sudan high ranking vice-president and member of the task force dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, tests positive together with other members.
Riek Machar said, since several other members of the task force were infected a new team was taking over their work.
Angelina Teny, his wife and the Defence Minister, together with some bodyguards and other staff also have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Experts worry that decades of conflict has left South Sudan incapable of dealing with a surge in new infections.
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So far South Sudan has recorded 236 cases of Covid-19 and four deaths.
Last week, the authorities announced the virus had reached a UN refugee camp in the capital, Juba, where some 30,000 people have sought seeking shelter and protection.
A case has also been confirmed in a similar camp in northern Bentiu, home to almost 120,000 people, as reported by the AFP news agency.
Mr Machar said that a member of the Covid-19 task force tested positive for coronavirus last week.Since that person had been “freely in contact ” with the rest of the team, he decided that everyone on the task force be tested.
“Many of our colleagues who have been found positive are in good health… from now onwards we shall be quarantining ourselves in the house,”Riek Machar.
Riek Machar formed a joint government with his political rival President Salva Kiir in February after years of conflict which has resulted in hundreds being killed and thousands being displaced.
As part of the power-sharing deal, Riek Machar, is ranked first among four vice-presidents serving as deputy leaders to Salva Kiir.
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Apart from dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, South Sudan has also been named among countries most at risk of what the UN World Food Programme (WFP) calls a “hunger pandemic”.
According to WFP, hunger and malnutrition in the country are at the most extreme levels since 2011, with almost 60% of the population struggling to find food daily.
Making the situation worse, swarms of locusts which in South Sudan earlier this year.
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