Opinion: Is South Sudan Traffic Police taking preventive measures against COVID-19?

By Duom Peter,

Members of South Sudan traffic police who participated in a training session posts for a picture with their trainer, Wau South Sudan(Photo credit: James Deng Dimo/Nyamilepedia)

Members of South Sudan traffic police who participated in a training session posts for a picture with their trainer, Wau South Sudan(Photo credit: James Deng Dimo/Nyamilepedia)

May 17, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan COVID-19 cases have risen in the last few days bringing the total to 290. Out of samples collected and tested, there were confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections among truck drivers. Uganda as of May 16, 2020, recorded 24 new COVID-19 cases from 2,044 samples of truck drivers. Majority are allegedly to be from South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya. This makes one to ask question that, are South Sudanese traffic officers aware of Novel Coronavirus? How safe are our road traffic officers who have little or no knowledge of COVID-19? Absolutely No! I sometime sit under the tree during evening hours next to traffic police Station in Shirkat and what I always see is really horrible and quite alarming. Our traffic officers who rarely wear masks or put on gloves constantly shake hands with drivers particularly truck drivers.

South Sudan road traffic officers should proactively take preventive measures against COVID-19 as well as creating conducive working environment with truck drivers who are delivering goods and services to our local population. It’s the role of the Ministry of Interior to punish any traffic officer who violates COVID-19 preventive measures. Our traffic officers are not living on their own private islands. They live with us in the community. Little did they know that their daily customers (or truck drivers) might be carriers of COVID-19. I am not saying all truck drivers are potential carriers of COVID-19, but anyone whether passenger, driver, or traffic officer can be a carrier of novel coronavirus. When medical practitioners attend to their patients, they regularly observe social distancing, wear masks and gloves. This should be replicated by traffic officers when dealing with their daily customers (or truck drivers). We must fight COVID-19 on all fronts.

As a concern citizen, I humbly request South Sudan Traffic Police Department to avid by World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines in fight of the pandemic. The measures should include; training of road traffic officers on COVID-19 preventive measures based on WHO guidelines, compulsory wearing of masks and gloves, and mass testing of traffic officers. The mass testing should start with Nimule-Juba highway traffic officers as well as those in the states’ capital cities. Our traffic officers must avoid shaking hands with drivers as well as signing transport documents with their own pens. Finally, the government of South Sudan especially the Ministry of Interior should ease the congestion at all the entry points. Our fight against COVID-19 seems to be getting ugly but this does not mean we should give up.

May God bless South Sudan

The author, Duom Peter, can be reached through his email at duomchol@yahoo.com,

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