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S. Sudan chief justice denies health officials of screening his sons of coronavirus at Juba airport

South Sudan’s Chief Justice Chaan Reec Madut (File photo)

March 23, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) — While health officials in South Sudan, like in the rest of the world, are trying all that they can to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, South Sudan’s Chief Justice, Chan Reec Madut, caused an embarrassing scene when he came bleating for the exemption of his sons from COVID-19 testing on Thursday at Juba airport.

President Salva Kiir had ordered that all those entering the country through all points of entry are to be subjected to the test and those from affected countries be taken for a 14-day quarantine.

All public activities that attract many people have been canceled for the meantime until potential threats of the virus subside.

On Thursday 19th March, Juba International Airport (JIA) was the center of a scuffle between four sons of the Chief Justice and health officials at the airport. The four had landed aboard Ethiopian Airlines at around 2 PM, Juba local time returning from the United Kingdom.

Health officials demanded that the four be tested for the virus since it is mandatory for all entering the country. The United Kingdom has become a new hotbed of the deadly bug with over 3,500 patients under treatment and 150 plus deaths.

The sons refused to be tested insisting that they were “negative of the virus”- a claim not backed up by scientific proof at least. According to an eyewitness present at the scene, the elder of the sons got into a serious argument with a Criminal Investigation Department official. The argument resulted in the CID agent being grabbed by the collar of his shirt by one of the protesting sons. “The guy grabbed the CID, pulled him closer and a serious fight broke out”, the eyewitness says” security agents then came in, took in the man and detained him”, he added.

The Chief Justice, father of the four sons immediately came with four of his bodyguards, threatening the security agents for refusing his “Coronavirus-negative sons” from entering the country. He ordered the release of the detained elder son, something the present security agents rejected. The Chief Justice then threatened the security agents with repercussions if they failed to free and handover his son.

The National Security Minister, Gen. Mamur Obuttu was phoned by his men at the airport about the classless, and arrogant Justice and his sons, reinforcements of 4 Landcruiser pickup cars were immediately dispatched to the airport full of soldiers to at least calm the out-of-control situation.

There was a standoff between Chan and his sons on one side and health officials plus security agents on the other side. The security agents stood firm and the detained elder son was not released. A big concern, in the end, was when the official made off with his other three sons “without being tested for the coronavirus”.

Chan Reec Madut is the head of one of the three branches of government in the Transitional Government of National Unity. He’s responsible for the implementation of the enacted laws in the Republic of South Sudan- including the new law requiring everyone entering the country to test for the virus.

South Sudan is yet to confirm its first case of Coronavirus. The W.H.O and the Ministry of Health are stepping up efforts to ensure the country is prepped for any potential case of the virus. W.H.O in conjunction with the National Ministry of Health recommends the public to use either hand sanitizers or soap while washing hands and they also encourage the public to avoid crowded places.

A well-equipped laboratory with trained personnel has been readied and the public is being alerted to notify the authorities in case anyone shows any symptoms of the virus.

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