On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)”. This decision was mainly to prevent spread of the virus in countries with weakest health systems so that all countries could be prepared for active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and mitigation of onward spread of COVID-19 infection. Coronaviruses (CoV) are of zoonotic origin, that are transmitted between animals and people.
The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
The index cases were detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China on 31 December 2019. Early on, many of the patients in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. It was later reported in other countries that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring.
As of 3 May, a total of 3,318,755 cases of COVID-19, including 236,431associated deaths have been reported in 213 countries and territories. Daily COVID-19 updates can be followed on WHO official website at this link.
2. SITUATION IN SUDAN
The first COVID-19 case in Sudan was confirmed on 13 March. As of 1 May 2020, 533 cases (95 per cent males and 5 per cent females) of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Sudan with 36 resulting fatalities; the total case fatality rate (CFR) is 6.7 per cent – geographical distribution below. The increase in number of reported cases and geographical distribution is indicative of community transmission but further analysis is being undertaken to confirm this.
Currently all COVID-19 testing is done by the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) in Khartoum, the current capacity allows for the completion of 130 tests per day. Other labs in Red Sea, Gezira, and North Darfur have been identified to be part of the COVID national laboratory network; the aim is to increase testing capacity to at least 600 tests per day.
On 16 March 2020, Sudan’s Transitional Government closed all airports, ports and land crossings and declared a public health emergency over fears of further spread of coronavirus. Only scheduled flights of goods and humanitarian supplies are permitted. Flights taking out passengers have been organised by member states on an ad hoc basis. As of 30 March 2020, inter-state public transportation has been halted and a country wide imposed curfew between 18:00 and 06:00; following this, on 18 April, authorities effected a lockdown in Khartoum and North Darfur. During the lockdown, people are allowed to purchase essentials goods between 06:00 and 13:00.