South Sudan government imposes night curfew, asks employers to have some staff stay home

By Deng Daniel Ngor

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has enforced a night curfew across the country for the next 30 days as a preventative measure against COVID-19.

This is aimed at stopping possible spread of the coronavirus as the country is reportedly at high risk of the COVID-19.

In a presidential order read on the state-run television on Tuesday night, President Kiir said the 8 PM – 6AM curfew started on Wednesday evening, 25 March.

He directed the law enforcement agencies to ensure that the order is fully respected.

According to the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, South Sudan is coronavirus-free. However, all its neighboring countries of Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, Ethiopia, DRC Congo and Morocco have confirmed cases of the virus.

International flights have already been banned and borders closed – nobody in, nobody out in South Sudan.

In a preventive measure, the president also directed employers, both private and public, to make necessities to allow their non-essential staff to stay home on a paid leave.

He further stated that work-time at public institutions shall be limited to a half-day, starting from 7:30 AM and ending at 1:00 PM, Monday to Friday.

He added that hospital staff, police and other security agencies shall follow their normal duties.

But all combined forces at training sites are ordered to remain in their respective camps unless instructed otherwise, and they must strictly observe infection provision procedures, including social distancing or gathering in the process.

Designated market areas and other public places are directed to observe personal hygiene and practice social distancing. The presidential order warns the business community in general against increasing prices or hoarding essential goods and commodities.

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