South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar and his wife Angelina Teny, who serves as defense minister, have tested positive for COVID-19. His office also confirmed that “a number of staffers and bodyguards” had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Mr. Machar disclosed on national television that he would self-quarantine for 14 days in his residence after his result was confirmed. “Fortunately, the minister of health is not amongst us who have been found positive,” he said in a televised speech.
He adds up to the growing number of world leaders who have tested positive for Covid-19 after it spread outside mainland China.
South Sudan has recorded a little over 347 cases of Covid-19 and six deaths, according to the latest figures from the health ministry. Despite the low cases in the country, aid agencies have raised an alarm over the recent spikes in numbers.
According to The National, officials announced the virus had reached a camp of about 30, 000 displaced people who have been seeking United Nations protection in the capital Juba since 2013. Two cases have been confirmed there.
“We are particularly concerned that there have been a couple of cases that tested positive in the camp here just outside Juba. There are ten of thousands of internally displaced persons living there, so they live on quite cramped conditions,” James Reynolds, from the International Committee of the Red Cross in South Sudan, said.
Another case has been recorded in a camp accommodating 120, 000 people in the Northern city of Bentiu.