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South Sudan announces new conditions for public COVID-19 testing


In a letter published earlier this week, South Sudan’s National COVID Taskforce has announced a number of revisions to its free public testing service.

Signed by its Chairman, Hon. Abdon Agaw Jok Nhial, the National Taskforce has introduced a series of conditions by which a citizen might be eligible for testing at the public health laboratory in Juba. These conditions correspond to a cable published on 17th December, stipulating a review of South Sudan’s testing strategy.

Testing at the National Public Health Laboratory, Juba

According to the letter, patients who are critically ill and in emergency medical care will be granted a free test at the public health laboratory, provided they possess a letter from the Vice-President and Chairman of the National Taskforce’s office.

This privilege is also extended to Government officials travelling abroad on ‘high profile government missions’. Like patients in critical care, they too will require a letter from the office of the Vice-President and Taskforce Chairman.

These announcements come as South Sudan’s surpass COVID 3,500 and 63 deaths. However, numerous commentators have pointed out these numbers are deceptive due to the country’s low testing capability. In reality, the number of both cases and deaths might be much higher. Yet, due to the low numbers of tests available to citizens both in Juba and further afield, the real figures are hard to gauge.

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