The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) confirms seven COVID-19 cases in the country, including two deaths. All cases arrived in the country from abroad and are receiving required medical treatment in isolation centres in Khartoum. The 142 Sudanese students who were studying in Wuhan, returned to Sudan after spending three weeks in quarantine in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and an earlier isolation in Wuhan. All students tested negative for COVID-19.
The Government of China donated 50 ventilators and 400,000 surgical masks to the FMoH. A further 100 ventilators are expected to arrive in the upcoming few days. Starting 31 March, the curfew hours have been extended from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is already having some impact on humanitarian access, education and protection services due to the reduction of services in certain government offices, the closure of schools and the limitations on movements. Partners are putting into place alternative plans, including providing up to three months of food rations, to ensure the continuity of humanitarian assistance and to reduce the impact on already vulnerable people. OCHA is monitoring the impacts on humanitarian operations and programmes.
States respond to COVID-19
A COVID-19 working group has been established that brings together UN, NGOs and clusters to support the Government’s preparedness and response to COVID-19 at national and state levels.
In Blue Nile State, a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan has been developed for the period April – June 2020. The plan aims to scale up knowledge and skills of health workers on COVID19; raise community awareness on self-prevention; monitor arrivals at points of entry (POEs) and cross-border sites to identify and isolate suspected cases; establish isolation centres (quarantine) at cross borders sites and Damazine town; activate emergency operation centres (EOC) in Ed Damazine and localities; strengthen sensitivity of surveillance system and contact tracing; establish and equip isolation treatment centres; and ensure safety measures are taken during collecting and transporting of samples. The total cost of the plan is around 64.6 million Sudanese pounds ($1.2 million).
A technical committee on COVID-19 was convened in South Darfur to review preparedness and response COVID-19. The State Ministry of Health (SMoH) identified two isolation centres. The FMoH has given South Darfur $36,000 to procure thermal detectors and protective equipment. Awareness-raising campaigns for whole state including printing of posters, sound systems for broadcasting, messages for radio and TV, and posters on for signboards are on-going.
Humanitarian partners continue to respond in support of the government.
Surveillance, rapid-response teams, and case investigation
UNFPA and FMoH are training community midwives on infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols that have been adapted for COVID-19. Trainings are planned at the state level over the next two weeks.
UNFPA worked with the FMoH in finalizing and endorsing case management protocols for pregnant and women who recently delivered. Training of trainers with obstetricians and gynaecologists was held in Khartoum, with technical assistance by FMoH and UNFPA.
Risk communication and community engagement
UNFPA is working with FMoH on printing and distribution of materials to health care facilities including 12,000 information education communication (IEC) material for COVID-19 response was printed for FMoH. UNFPA is also working with FMoH in developing audio-visual materials addressing COVID19 risks. Two have already been published, and three are in the pipeline.
NGOs and partners engaged in community outreach and awareness raising on COVID19, covering 15 states with focus on high risk states, campaigns are starting next week.
For more information on COVID-19 visit the ALNAP COVID-19 Response Portal. The portal holds a vast collection of guidelines, tools, papers and lessons learnt