South Sudan Covid-19 Audit Committee recommends enforcement measures, fines for violation: The Weekly Review

Published on 28th February 2021. YouTube link:

In this episode, Roger Alfred Yoron Modi interviewed Dr. Richard Lako, the Chairman of the COVID-19 Audit Committee constituted by the South Sudan National Taskforce on Coronavirus Pandemic. Lako said the Audit Committee has started its work and recommended enforcement measures and fines for violations after observing wide lack of compliance.

“We made observations, most of the people in the market are not wearing masks. Everybody moving and there are no social distancing. The buses are full capacity, they don’t go half-capacity. We also visited the Airport (JIA) and observed there’s no social distancing there, no wearing of masks, the VIP do not respect the rules. In total, there’s no compliance at all. Based on our observations, we have given the National Taskforce a comprehensive report with recommendations,” Dr. Lako said. “We recommended the issue of the enforcement and we are working to come up with some defined penalties for those who defy the measures at the individual level and institutional level. This will come out as part of the resolutions [from the National Taskforce] so that the law enforcement will use it.”

When announcing the establishment of the COVID-19 Audit Committee, South Sudan Vice President and Chairman National Taskforce on COVID-19 Pandemic Hussein Abdelbagi Akol stated that most institutions in the Country, public and private, no longer adhere to COVID-19 safety measures: no hand washing facilities or sanitizers, the public no longer wear facemasks and no social distancing are among issues he mentioned. Abdelbagi said the Covid-19 Audit Committee is constituted mainly to increase public awareness about the second wave of COVID-19 resurgence and to prepare citizens to accept and integrate COVID-19 precautionary measures into their lives, among other reasons. The Scope of Work of the Audit Committee, the Vice President stated, include: to develop risk mitigation matrix; to assess safety and compliance at places of work and social gathering; check Mortality Surveillance records to identity deaths due to COVID.19; and to present assessment reports and recommendations to the National Taskforce every Wednesday. Other members of the COVID-19 Audit Committee are: Dr. Anthony Wek Garang— Secretary; Dr. Ader Macar Achiek — Member 4. Dr. Mabior Ring Bol — Member 5. Mr. Akuoch Ajang Nyanhom — Member; and Co-opted members from Medical Advisory, Media, South Sudan National Police Service, National Security Service and South Sudan Peoples Defense Forces — members.