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Sudan Takes New Measures to Protect Health Workers

Sudan Takes New Measures to Protect Health Workers

Sunday, 24 May, 2020 - 05:00
A general view shows Sudanese people and traffic along a street in Khartoum, Sudan June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat

Sudan's transitional authorities are planning to create a police force to protect health facilities, the prime minister's office said Saturday.

The new measures come in light the rise of attacks taking place against health workers and hospitals amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

At least two dozen attacks on health care workers and facilities have taken place in the past two months across the country, according to a tally by the Sudan Doctors’ committee.

On Thursday alone, there were at least three attacks on health workers and facilities in Khartoum that led to a temporary suspension of services at a hospital there, the committee said.

The government will introduce a draft bill to provide protection to health workers, the statement said.

The move also came after doctors across the country threatened Thursday to go on strike to pressure authorities to provide protection for health workers and facilities.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok met with representatives of doctors on Friday to find “decisive and strict solutions” to “the phenomenon of repeated attacks on health workers," his office said in a statement.

In one instance last month, a riot erupted at a hospital in the city Omdurman, across the Nile River from the capital, Khartoum, when a rumor spread that it would take coronavirus patients.

Police arrested several people who tried to attack the building, the Associated Press reported.

Sudan has reported at least 63 deaths from COVID-19 among around 3,380 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which causes the disease.

Sudan’s health care system has been weakened by decades of war and sanctions.

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