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Seven Sudanese Doctors Die from COVID-19 in 10 Days

Doctors, nurses, and volunteers set up a treatment center in the Shambat district of Khartoum on June 18, 2020, amid acute shortage of medicine as Sudan fights the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

Sudanese health authorities said Sunday that seven medical doctors died from COVID-19 in 10 days, a development that reflects Sudan’s sharp rise in cases in recent weeks. Nearly 100 deaths were recorded in the past month.

A statement issued by Sudan's ministry of health said the seven doctors “worked tirelessly” to treat COVID-19 patients, prevent the spread of the ailment, and protect the lives of the Sudanese people. COVID-19 is the illness caused by the coronavirus.

The government called their deaths a huge loss for the country as it continues to fight the pandemic and described the doctors as “true heroes,” who died defending their people.

According to the ministry:

— Dr. Kamil Mohammad Abdullah, a consultant ophthalmologist, died November 11.

— Dr. Iman Ahmed Al Bashir, director of Khartoum state’s Department of Mother and Child Health at the Ministry of Health, died November 13.

— Dr. Naeem Abdurrahman, an ophthalmologist in Jazeera state, died November 16.

— Dr.Izzeddeen Mahmoud Abdo, a consultant in medical laboratories, died November 18.

— Professor Al-Tom Surajaddeen, a medical laboratories consultant, died November 18.

— Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim Al-Tahir, a radiologist, died November 19.

— Professor Ahmed Ahimer, a World Health Organization immunization expert and former director of child immunization in Blue Nile State, died November 19.

Late last week, Sudanese education authorities postponed the reopening of schools for two weeks, due to a steep rise in cases.

Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases globally, says on its coronavirus dashboard that Sudan currently has 16,052 confirmed cases and 1,197 deaths.

Acting Health Minister Dr. Osama Ahmed Abdurrahim told reporters in Khartoum Sunday that the coronavirus is still spreading in communities across Sudan. The minister said everyone, including top government officials, should practice social distancing, wear face masks, and adhere to all other preventive measures.

“All levels of government in the country, being the Sovereign Council, councils of ministers, corporations or government institutions, they should show a serious commitment towards following the precautionary measures because the government is [taking] the lead in fighting this pandemic,” said Adurrahim.

He said his ministry is still weighing whether to call for a national lockdown.

Khartoum state Governor Ayman Khaled Nimer directed all public and private institutions in Khartoum state to operate at 50 percent of their normal workforce, except for essential sectors such as medical facilities.

The order bans all large public gatherings, including wedding parties, graduations and other social events.