South Sudan gov’t closes airports, borders over coronavirus

Photo: South Sudan Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health Makur Matur Koryom

March 23, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan government on Monday ordered the closure of airports and international borders over fear of the coronavirus pandemic.

This comes after neighboring Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan reported confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

In a statement following a meeting of the high-level taskforce on coronavirus in Juba on Monday, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health Makur Matur Koryom said the decision was reached during the meeting which also discussed several issues in regards to the fight against the pandemic.

The meeting ordered the “closure of Juba International Airport and all other international airports in the country in the face of all international flights,” Matur said.

He said the decision is effective from midnight, Tuesday, March 23, 2020.

“Therefore all international flights destined and from South Sudan’s Juba International Airports are advised to cease their operations by midnight on Monday, 23rd March 2020 meaning tonight. At midnight these operators must sieze to fly into South Sudan and outside South Sudan,” he added.

He said the decision on was taken after the taskforce “considered the current situation in countries around us and having observed or realize the risk posed by the continuing operations of regional airlines in South Sudan and the risk these airplanes carry with them to South Sudan.”

Matur further explained that the government has decided to exempt supply flights and cargo trucks carrying food, medical and humanitarian aid.

The senior government official said the meeting also resolved to close a “border crossings in the face of the passenger buses meaning passenger buses coming to South Sudan or travelling to neighboring countries will cease as of midnight tonight and only cargo buses and trucks, food trucks and fuel tankers will be allowed.”

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