The United Nations in South Sudan has confirmed a case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among its staff.
The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) are leading the investigation by epidemiologists to test people recently in contact with the patient in accordance with agreed protocols.
The patient has been resident in South Sudan for five weeks. She started working from home immediately after the onset of the symptoms and voluntarily requested to be tested to check her status with regard to COVID-19. The patient is recovering well.
A full list of people who came into contact with the patient is being compiled, and quarantine and follow-up has begun immediately together with the Ministry of Health. The individuals will be followed up for the mandatory 14 days, checked for symptoms and those who develop symptoms will be tested for COVID-19.
The United Nations is working closely with the Government of South Sudan and WHO on prevention and preparedness in the country because we are all facing this threat together. The UN is supporting efforts to raise awareness about prevention measures, including frequent handwashing, social distancing, self-quarantine requirements and the avoidance of large gatherings to reduce the risk of transmission.
The UN has previously imposed a travel freeze on all staff travelling into the country, ensured staff who arrived prior to the ban are self-quarantined for 14 days, introduced work-from-home measures to reduce numbers of people in offices, and enforced social distancing rules and frequent hand washing by all personnel.
The UN’s priority is to protect the people of South Sudan and UN staff who are here to serve. For that reason, the UN will make every effort to continue its activities to protect civilians, provide humanitarian assistance, build peace and support development. The UN will also continue to support national-led COVID-19 prevention and preparedness efforts.