The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit has reportedly contracted coronavirus after getting in contact with his first deputy, Riek Machar and General Yao Yao.
The Sudanese newspaper “Al-Mighar” quoted government sources said that the announcement of Salva Kiir’s infection was kept secret, and he underwent a laboratory examination, and the result was positive.
The sources indicated that more than 58 government officials were infected with the virus as a result of contact.
Earlier, the Vice-President of South Sudan, Machar, who was part of a task force to fight coronavirus, went into self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19.
Machar said, as several other members of the task force were infected, a new team was taking over their work.
His wife, who is Defence Minister Angelina Teny, some bodyguards and other staff also have contracted the virus.
South Sudan is incapable of dealing with a surge in new infections, according to experts. So far South Sudan has recorded about 300 cases of Covid-19 and less than 10 deaths.
Power Sharing Deal Between Kiir and Machar
Mr Machar formed a joint government with his political rival President Kiir in February after years of conflict which resulted in hundreds being killed and thousands being displaced.
As part of the power-sharing deal, Mr Machar, is ranked first among four vice-presidents serving as deputy leaders to Mr Kiir.
Apart from dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, South Sudan has also been named among countries most at risk of what the UN World Food Programme (WFP) calls a “hunger pandemic”.
The WFP said that hunger and malnutrition in the country are at the most extreme levels since 2011 with almost 60% of the population struggling to find food every day.
Making the situation worse, swarms of locusts which had destroyed crops across East Africa arrived in South Sudan earlier this year.