Sudan imposes lockdown on capital after 10 new coronavirus cases

FILE PHOTO: Customers queue to buy bread at a bakery in Khartoum, Sudan February 19, 2020. Picture taken February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan will impose a lockdown on the capital Khartoum for three weeks after 10 more cases of the new coronavirus were discovered on Monday, its information minister said.

The lockdown in the country’s most populous city will start on Saturday, Faisal Saleh told Reuters. In total, 29 coronavirus cases have been discovered in Sudan, with four deaths, the health ministry said in a statement.

Sudan has already imposed a nationwide curfew, closed its airports and halted all long-haul bus trips between cities.

On Saturday, the health minister told Reuters authorities urgently need $120 million to fight the virus, which causes respiratory disease COVID-19, saying current capacity for beds with ventilators was just in the “hundreds”.

Sudan’s health system was neglected during the 30-year rule of Omar al-Bashir, who was toppled a year ago, analysts say.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz and Nafisa Eltahir; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Alison Williams and Catherine Evans