KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 29, 2020/ — The African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) regrets to announce that two passengers aboard its special flight from the Mission’s logistics hub in El Fasher to Nairobi on 27 May 2020 turned out positive results for Corona Virus (COVID-19) when tested by Kenyan health authorities on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The flight carried a mixture of 14 UNAMID, UNCT and NGO personnel, including UNAMID staff who had volunteered for departure due to underlying health conditions that render them highly vulnerable were they to contract COVID-19 infection in the operating conditions of the field. The two passengers were diagnosed as COVID-19 positive on arrival in Nairobi and upon administration of the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) on them. One is confirmed as a UNAMID staff member while the other is an employee of a non-governmental organization that operates in Darfur in partnership with United Nations entities. Neither passenger had any obvious symptoms of coronavirus or other infection nor presented signs of any illness during the pre-departure screening.
The Mission is working closely with the Kenyan authorities in Nairobi to ensure that the affected staff member receives necessary medical care available. The other passengers who came on the special flight are quarantined and under medical observation in accordance with Kenya’s COVID-19 protocols. UNAMID has initiated its mandatory contact tracing procedures and is also reviewing its overall procedures regarding travel of staff.
The Mission’s Crisis Management Team, led by the Head of Mission, is fully engaged with the Government of Sudan and the Government of Kenya on the matter and continues to take all necessary precautions in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and decisions of the Kenyan and Sudanese health authorities as well as the UN Office in Nairobi aimed at combatting and preventing the spread of COVID-19.