COVID-19 breaks social ties, limits access to other medical services

The restrictions being imposed to curtail the spread of the highly contagious Coronavirus are preventing some people from travel for better medical treatment outside Abyei.

Kuei Garang, mother of one  in Agok, Abyei Administrative Area wanted to go to Sudan’s capital Khartoum for medical treatment and  to see her mother and siblings but the pandemic interrupted her plan. 

I was going to seek treatment for ulcers, it has prevented me from going to treat myself, it has also prevented me from seeing my family in Khartoum, I am stressed up and confused,” she said.

The pandemic has not spared the social life and the mental well-being as well, as social gatherings are banned.

Chol Mayol Dau, 20, came all the way from Egypt after undergoing travel procedures to Abyei but could not visit and interact with some of his friends and relatives he said he missed for long-a situation he described as stressful.

“If you have a will to visit someone and something came in the middle that you can’t visit that person. It is so sad,” he said.

Last week, Nyanwut Mayen Kuol who doubles as the acting head of health administration and secretary of COVID-19 Task Force in Abyei Administrative Area warned people against flouting the coronavirus preventive measures.

She said they have not received any official communication lifting some of the restrictions from the government of South Sudan.

Abyei Area has 52 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including two deaths and 50 recoveries. Though there are no active cases being monitored currently, but this does not mean that the virus is over.

As of Sunday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Sudan increased to 2,546 including 1316 recoveries and 48 deaths.

World Health Organization situation report of last week shows the global infections rose to nearly 27 million and the deaths hit 900,000.

Over 1.8 million new cases and 37 000 new deaths were reported for the week ending 6 September, a 5% increase in the number of cases and a 2% decrease in the number of deaths compared to the previous week,” the report says.