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Juba [South Sudan], October 18 (ANI/Xinhua): South Sudan's government said Sunday it plans to roll out mass testing and mandatory vaccination in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.

John Rumunu, acting COVID-19 incident manager, said mass testing will be carried out using rapid diagnostic tests to gauge the level of infections in the country."The task force resolved to carry out mass vaccination program in all the public and private institutions, this is to caution all the institutions to know that in the next few months to come, travelling outside might require mandatory COVID-19 vaccine certificate," he told journalists in Juba during the weekly updates on COVID-19.Rumunu cautioned the public on the need to observe preventive health guidelines on COVID-19 such as the mandatory wearing of facemasks, social distance, washing of hands regularly with soap and avoiding crowded places.Sacha Bootsman, World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 incident manager disclosed that so far only 0.3 per cent of South Sudan's population of 12.2 million is vaccinated.She added that they have so far administered 120,413 vaccine doses to 35,755 people out of 2.4 million targets they set in April when the vaccination commenced.Bootsman noted that 22,103 health workers have been vaccinated, adding that only 2,782 people have received Johnson & Johnson jabs since Oct. 8 when they launched the campaign.She revealed that the people vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson are from 12 health facilities in three counties of Central and Western Equatoria state respectively.The ministry of health as of Saturday confirmed 14 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the cumulative number to 12,223. The number of those who have recovered reached 11,726 and 130 deaths since April last year when the first case was registered in the country. (ANI/Xinhua)

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