Covid-19 Task Force in Abyei says contacts of coronavirus patients have defied health guidelines.
It says people refuse to be listed for monitoring with an excuse that they are safe from the virus. This could be due to fear of stigmatization in case they are found positive for the virus. Last year, frontline workers told Abyei FM that the level of stigma toward covid-19 patients was high in the area.
One of the health officials says this has hampered effect to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Save the Children International, a health partner in Abyei says tracing people who have come in contact with coronavirus patients do not comply with preventive measures.
The NGO’s Country Health Director Dr. Ramsey Muorwel says recent contacts of patients have refused to provide their details for monitoring.
“Those who came in contact with one of the covid-19 deceased have declined to give their details so that they are called on phone every morning for monitoring. The reason which they are wanted to be called is not to announce that Mr. so and so is infected with corona, but it is just to monitor someone like the way you ask a person in the morning – how are you. We do this for 7 to 14 days and if the person shows no signs, you will not call again,” he explained.
Dr. Muorwel appealed to the public to help health personnel fight the virus by reporting themselves by respecting health guidelines
“The disease we are fighting now is not like any other diseases and so there is no need to hide. If you have met a person who is positive of the virus, please come forward. Come to the medical workers so that your details are taken for monitoring so that if you develop any symptoms, you can be attended to,” said Dr. Muorwel.
The medical official reiterated that the covid-19 is real, and its prevention needs everyone’s effort.
Covid-19 is a highly contagious disease. Its symptoms include dry cough, body ache, sore throat and shortness of breath.
The virus passed from one person to another through droplets from the mouth or nose of an infected person. Measures to prevent its spread include contact tracing, isolation, hand washing, keeping social distancing and wearing face mask.
In Abyei, there are 56 cases confirmed of the pandemic so far with 3 deaths while the overall cases in South Sudan have passed 3000 with 63 deaths.