Taban rejects replacement of Hussein Abdelbaggi as head of coronavirus taskforce

Stephen Taban Deng Gai, 'First Vice President'(Photo: File)

Stephen Taban Deng Gai, ‘First Vice President'(Photo: File)

June 1, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s vice-president Taban Deng Gai has turned down a request by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to have him replace vice-president Hussein Abdelbaggi as head of the country’s National Taskforce on COVID-19, officials close to the former First Vice-President have said.

This comes after Hussein announced in a televised address that he has tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, two weeks after his Taskforce predecessor First Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar tested positive for the virus.

Speaking to Nyamilepedia this evening, a senior government official told Nyamilepedia from Juba that it has been four days since president Salva Kiir requested Taban to replace Hussein Abdelbaggi but Taban has turned down the request.

“The vice-president has rejected that he replace Hussein Abdelbaggi as the chairman of the National Taskforce on Coronavirus,” the official told Nyamilepedia on condition of anonymity from the capital Juba.

“This is the fourth day since a letter was sent to him by president Salva Kiir. His response today was that he can not do the job and requested that instead of politicians, the health professionals should be the one to lead the fight against COVID-19,” the officials said.

As coronavirus cases continue to surge, senior government officials have tested positive for the respiratory sickness.

Among those publicly known to have tested positive for the virus are First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, vice-president Hussein Abdelbaggi, vice-president James Wani Igga, information minister Michael Makuei and Defense Minister Angelina Teny.

Kiir’s government has been blamed by the people for not doing the needed practice to thwart the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

South Sudan as of last week has 994 confirmed cases of the virus. Ten people have died and at least six (6) have recovered from the virus.

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