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Health officials suspect Delta variant behind increase of COVID cases in Port Sudan

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Sudanese youth at a coffee shop on the corniche in Port Sudan on 25 April 2016 (Antonio photo)July 22, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The Delta variant could be behind the spread of a new wave of coronavirus infections in the Red Sea town Port Sudan, a Sudanese health official said on Thursday.

The local authorities in the Red Sea State have declared a state of health emergency since last Sunday, after the high rate of infection with the respiratory disease.

Accordingly, the state closed schools, universities and places of worship for two weeks. The same for public parks, clubs, cafes and restaurants and funerals.

Eastern Sudan Coordination, called on the World Health Organization to support local efforts to stop halt the spread of the COVID 19 saying it has claimed over thirty deaths per day.

The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD), for its part, reported in two separate statements 4 days ago said the virus has hit Port Sudan adding that two doctors have died from COVID-19.

The Director-General of the Ministry of Health in the Red Sea State, Zaafaran al-Zaki, told the Sudan Tribune Thursday that COVID-19 samples were sent abroad to sequence its genome to identify the variant spreading in the state.

"Clinical indications suggest that these cases are similar to the Delta variant, but we need specialized laboratories to confirm it," al-Zaki further stressed.

She pointed out that the health authorities in the Red Sea State are making great efforts to control the situation but these efforts are hampered by the lack of awareness and the failure of the state residents to adhere to health measures.

The health officials said the weekly average of the new cases has reached 147 cases.

"Last week it decreased to 73 cases," she said.

Since last month, there are 64 more coronavirus-related deaths in the state.

According to the latest figures released by the WHO on 22 July, there are 37,138 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sudan with 2,776 deaths.

As of 18 July 2021, a total of 810,560 vaccine doses have been administered.

(ST)

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