Khartoum, (The Southern African Times) – The COVID-19 pandemic led to the death of nine patients on Saturday. At least 25 suspected cases were recorded.
The Sudanese Ministry of Health on Sunday stated in its regular epidemiological report on the spread of the coronavirus in the country, that seven patients in eastern Sudan’s El Gedaref and Red Sea state, and one patient each in El Gezira and neighbouring North Kordofan died the day before.
About 85 COVID-19 patients are currently being treated in isolation centres in the country. 3,145 suspected cases are monitored, including the 25 cases recorded on Saturday.
The total number of coronavirus cases registered by the Ministry of Health since the start of the pandemic reached 37,556 on Saturday. The states most affected by the pandemic are Khartoum, with 24,799 cases, El Gezira with 3,498 cases, and Red Sea state, with 1,892 registered cases.
At least 2,813 people died of the highly contagious disease so far, of whom 1,139 in Khartoum, and 543 in El Gezira.
Sudanese medics have asserted more than once that the spread of the virus is being underreported in official figures. As the symptoms resemble those of malaria to a certain extent, coronavirus patients are often not requested to undergo a COVID-19 test. Hospitals are not equipped to treat COVID-19 patients and refuse to receive them. Another reason may be the stigmatising of the deadly disease by many Sudanese who just deny the presence of COVID-19 in the country.
In particular Red Sea state witnessed increased COVID-19 cases last month. The director of the Emergency and Epidemic Control Department in Port Sudan attributed the spike to the arrival of cases from Khartoum, and through the six Red Sea state ports of entry by sea, land, and air.
In end July, the Red Sea state authorities announced a noticeable decrease in the number of positive cases. They further reported that a further 20,632 people have received a COVID-19 vaccine in the state in addition to 2,846 medical and health personnel.
A representative of the Sudanese Immunisation Department confirmed the arrival of more doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the next few days, donated by the USA through the COVAX dose-sharing mechanism. He also stressed the need to intensify awareness campaigns on the virus and the vaccines.