South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar has contracted coronavirus, his office confirmed on Monday, May 18. He is the vice-chairperson of the COVID-19 Task Force in the country.
His wife Angelina Teny, who serves as defence minister, “a number of his office staff and bodyguards” also tested positive for the virus, the office further disclosed.
Machar later stated on state television that he would be in self-isolation for 14 days in his residence.
Since recording “index case on April 4, the country so far has recorded “347 cases of coronavirus, four recoveries and six deaths, privately-run Eye Radio reported.
The discovery last week of two COVID-19 cases in a crowded camp outside the capital Juba raised concerns among humanitarian groups of the possible devastating effect on the settlement.
“We are particularly concerned that there have been a couple of cases that tested positive in the camp here just outside Juba. There are tens of thousands of internally displaced persons living there, so they live in quite cramped conditions,” James Reynolds, from the International Committee of the Red Cross in South Sudan, said in a statement.