JUBA – South Sudan announced its fifth case of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, raising concerns about the spread of the illness through the population.
The National Ministry of Health said it had found a new case in Juba, bringing the total infections to five in the country.
Dr. Angok Gordon Kuol, the Incident Manager for COVID-19, told Radio Tamazuj that the patient was being treated in isolation.
The health official did not give further details about the patient’s identity, including his age.
According to Angok, the new patient is one of those who came for routine tests to secure an exit clearance from the capital Juba.
“He was tested and found positive. Right now the patient is in isolation,” he said.
Angok further said authorities would start tracking down people who came into contact with the fifth patient.
There are concerns a surge in COVID-19 cases would quickly overwhelm South Sudan’s fragile health system.
South Sudan government stepped up measures to arrest the spread of the illness last month, temporarily shutting schools and universities, barring fans from sports events, and telling citizens to observe social distancing.
Key symptoms of the new coronavirus include fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. The virus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and the droplets land in the mouths and noses of another person.
A person can also get infected with coronavirus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or their eyes.