Covid-19: UNICEF, business people welcome lifting of partial lockdown

The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF and business people say the lifting of partial lockdown in South Sudan is good news for the easy reopening of schools and that it would also help the businesses to revive activities.

On Wednesday, the National Taskforce on Covid-19 lifted the partial lockdown due to Covid-19 that was imposed early this year, while urging the public to continue practising precautionary measures to curb Covid-19 infections. This follows a decline in the number of reported cases of Covid-19 in the country in recent weeks.

In an interview with Radio Tamazuj on Thursday, UNICEF’s Communications Specialist in South Sudan, Hellen Sandhu said the move will allow for the smooth reopening of schools early next month.

“For UNICEF, the lifting of the partial lockdown is hopefully good news for the reopening of schools. The Ministry of Education had estimated that the schools will reopen in the first week of May. And with the lifting of the partial lockdown in South Sudan, we are extremely hopeful that schools actually will be opened in a few weeks. We know that children have lost over one year of education and there is an expected need for the schools to re-open in the first week of May,” Hellen said.

Yang Janet, an operations manager for LOU Aviation Company in Juba, says she hopes the lifting of the partial lockdown will revive their paralyzed business.

“When the lockdown started, it was totally bad with us, even hard for us to pay the rent and to pay the salaries. Even today we have not yet received our salaries. Is totally bad with us. But we have no choice, it is something that has come all over the country, so we are not blaming anybody. If things will get normal then we will appreciate that from our government. And still, we are hoping for things to get better, Yang said.

Kuol Nuer, a resident of Juba, said: “I appreciate the government and I’m happy with what happened yesterday (Wednesday). Now, I can go anywhere. Like yesterday I moved up to Jonglei where my relatives live and came back in the evening.”

Another Juba resident, Ali Mohamed, welcomed the lifting of the partial lockdown. “The move to lift the lockdown was a good move. Schools were closed, companies were shut down, the movement was restricted and now the lifting will help normalize the situation,” he said.

South Sudan is currently recording a decline in covid-19 cases according to the National Ministry of Health.

Last week, the government launched the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines in Juba targeting health workers, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions. The health ministry says it will also extend the vaccination exercise to the states.

South Sudan received the first batch of its 132,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility, and another 60,000 doses donated by African Union (AU) through African Centre for Disease Control late last month.


Source: Radio Tamazuj