President Salva Kiir addressed the nation on Monday calling to observe social distancing rules to contain community transmission of coronavirus and to ignore false rumours about his infection with the respiratory disease.
Kiir’s remarks come after the circulation in the social media of forged letter tasking the vice-president Hussein Abdelbagi with the day to day management of the country amid rumours that Kiir tested positive for COVID-19.
Furthermore, there were fake reports claiming that he left the country to Egypt for treatment of coronavirus.
“I want to urge all of you to refocus your energies to the fight against Coronavirus pandemic and leave futile politicking and helpless propaganda for now,” said Kiir.
He referred to rumours about his contamination and denied his travel to Egypt and called on the South Sudanese to “not delve into propaganda”.
“They said that President Kiir has COVID-19 and he has escaped to Egypt. They even went on as far as saying the President is dead,” he said.
Kiir further “I have never gone for refuge since I was young. I will stay here and die even to the last person in this country. I’m one of those people who said my bones will be buried in South Sudan,” he said.
Kiir also dismissed the assignment of Abdelbagi as a caretaker.
“There has never been any reassignment of duties of the President,”.he stressed.
South Sudan’s Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed that the number of COVID-19 infections rose to 665.
Last week, First Vice President Riek Machar, Defence Minister Angelina Teny and Information Minister Michael Makuei tested positive and self-isolated themselves.
Also, several other members of the former High-Level Task Force for COVID-19 have been infected by the disease.