South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar and his wife Minister of Defense Angelina Teny have contracted coronavirus, his office confirmed in a statement on Monday, May 18, reported Reuters.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the vice president’s office confirmed that a number of his office staff and bodyguards had also tested positive for Covid-19.
Machar “has issued a public statement declaring that he is found positive, and from today will self-quarantine in his residence for the next 14 days,” the statement said.
The results were confirmed after Machar and his wife were tested by members of the high level task force on Wednesday, May 13.
In a televised video, Machar said that he would keep himself in self-isolation for 14 days in his residence. The taskforce to fight the coronavirus was headed by Machar until last May 15 when President Salva Kiir dissolved it.
“I want to declare that, I, the deputy chair of the high-level task force has been tested [For COVID-19] and found positive,” Machar announced in a televised address to the nation. “There are other members who are also tested and found positive. I can only say at this stage that Madam Angelina Teny, the minister of defense and veteran affairs is also found positive.”
Angelina Teny she was encouraged to take the tests after two people in her ministry died after contracting the virus. She anticipated a positive test result after losing her sense of smell, one of the symptoms linked to coronavirus, about 8 days ago.
Teny said she will self-quarantine for 14 days and plans to execute her responsibilities as Minister of Defense from home during that time.
South Sudan has so far recorded 347 cases of COVID-19 and six deaths, according to the latest figures released by the health ministry on Monday. While the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country is relatively low, it is alarming to find out that only 3,908 tests have been conducted.