Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Sudan and the Lockdown

Lockdowns have saved more than three million lives from coronavirus in Europe, and prevented 530 million infections in the countries studied. The team at Imperial College London said the “death toll would have been huge” without lockdown.

Sudan's transitional civilian government, which runs the country under a power-sharing deal with the army, ordered most businesses, markets, schools and mosques to shut and imposed travel restrictions nearly two months ago. The government said the lockdown, extended in the capital Khartoum until June  , has helped to stem the spread of the virus. But Sudan is facing growing demands to end the restrictions from a population mired in poverty and facing annual inflation of nearly 100 percent - as well as fielding complaints that promised aid for poorer Sudanese has failed to materialise.

"We demand that the lockdown is lifted immediately so that we can ... get on with our lives, because hunger is worse than corona," said Othman, who is a daily wage earner.
The government blames technical issues for the delays in aid to the poor. Officials say only 60 percent of some half a million designated families have received food baskets and cash transfers.

"There are now efforts to distribute the rest of the aid supplies," said Information Minister Faisal Mohamed Salih.
The Multipurpose Women's Cooperative Union, which represents 15,000 tea sellers and street vendors, said its members had not received aid despite presenting the government with lists of those impacted when the lockdown began.

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