If you think Donald Trump is crazy for taunting his Hydroxychloroquine drug and sanitizer injection against Covid-19 disease, you still do not know Salva Kiir Mayardit. This president of South Sudan goes around with an ‘anti-coronavirus card’ to keep himself immune to the novel coronavirus.
Gen. Kiir, ministers, military leaders and other government officials, including their close business tycoons, have been seen wearing an ID-like tag that is labelled ‘Virus Removing Card’ on their chests or necks.
According to a South Sudanese epidemiologist, who does not want to be named as he is officially not allowed to speak to the media on matters coronavirus, the so-called ‘virus-removing Card’ is nothing but just like any other air-conditioner or disinfectant.
He said that the card contains nothing but Chlorine Dioxide gas, an oxidizer, which has nothing to do with the prevention or treatment of the Covid-19 disease. Another expert who, posted his concern on Facebook about the misleading use of this unhelpful device by the government, confirmed the same facts.
All the South Sudanese with or without knowledge on this ‘miracle solution’ are worried about why President Salva Kiir and his government are using this thing?
Most of the users of this fake device, including the president, himself, who is under pressure to officially confirm his status, have tested positive of the virus. Unfortunately, some of his generals, ministers, high-level dignitaries, including his traditional chiefs who came to Juba, have died of unofficially declared illnesses.
However, a doctor from the Ministry of Health revealed on Wednesday that most of these VIPs’ deaths were confirmed to have been caused by the coronavirus but, unfortunately, from the postmortem tests. Most of the patients do not come to John Garang Infectious Diseases Centre as this pandemic contagion is highly kept confidential by the authorities and individuals having it.
President Kiir just disbanded the High-level Taskforce on Covid-19 pandemic, which he had chaired for two months, with all his Cabinet ministers after they were all discovered to have the virus.
On May 18, 2020, First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny and his wife who doubles as Minister for Defence and Veterans Affairs, together with 10 ministers, publicly confirmed to have tested positive for the virus.
President Kiir with the First Lady, Mary Ayen Mayardit, is yet to officially confirm his status. However, it is alleged on some sections of the Media that he was set to be flown out to a friendly country for Covid-19 treatment on Thursday. There is no official confirmation from the Presidency till the time of the publication of this news story.
While investigative journalists and concerned organizations maybe still researching on the origin and beneficiaries of this scam, sources say each ‘saviour card’ is sold at a price of 800 US dollars or so in local currency.
Again, no official price has been confirmed though a #SSoT (South Sudanese on Twitter) member revealed that the card that runs at $800 in Juba actually goes by $8.50 on the cyber market.
Warning Against the Use of ‘Virus-removing Card’
The use of this ‘Miracle Mineral Solution’ as branded by conmen to fleece naïve and unsuspecting clients, like the Government of South Sudan, of thousands of dollars, is forbidden by many scientific institutions, especially the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of USA.
Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister for Information, Telecommunications and Postal Services, who is recovering from Covid-19 disease here under his home quarantine, is also a user of this ‘coronavirus expeller card’, which did not help him after all. The minister, also an official Government Spokesman, had denied the existence of the disease in the country days before he contracted it.
The warning statement, posted on the FDA’s website, reads: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning letter to a seller that markets fraudulent and dangerous chlorine dioxide products known as “Miracle Mineral Solution” for prevention and treatment of “Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19).
“Despite previous warnings, the FDA is concerned that we are still seeing chlorine dioxide products being sold with misleading claims that they are safe and effective for the treatment of diseases, now including COVID-19. The sale of these products can jeopardize a person’s health and delay proper medical treatment,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D.
“We continue to take action and keep up our efforts to monitor for fraudulent treatments during this public health emergency and remind the public to seek medical help from their health care providers.”
Public Mocks Kiir and his Administration
The Social Media is awash with jokes, pity and mockery on Gen. Salva Kiir and his vulnerable government officials, who have been literally demobilized from their work places and quarantined (with many already dead), leaving the country not only at the mercy of the notorious pandemic but also in an unprecedented constitutional crisis.
The following comments were sampled from across various social media platforms by South Sudanese.
“I used to see it SSBC News being hung on their pockets thinking it was VIP cards, now they must understand they are not safe yet buying it at a loss.” David
“Never dream of that. The social services get the smallest budget in the whole world, not South Sudan alone. Of course the little earmarked for Health should be better utilised for the intended purpose. Please keep social distancing and wear face mask while wearing your VIP Covid-19 protection card.” Dr. Kworwel Kuai
“This piece is informative and I hope those reading it now get it right and no longer use it as purported to have Covid-19 protective efficacy. I’ve warned several people against its use. What the users need to know is that this card contains two pads containing chlorine.
Chlorine of course reacts with the atmospheric air to form ClO2 or chlorine dioxide. This, in smaller quantities is unharmful, however, longer exposures of more than 30 days builds up higher doses in the body and ultimately exposes individuals to cardiac and or respiratory problems. Those intending to use use his must take such precautions, at least with grains of salt to which I doubt they can heed to; it is up to them and their families.Those reading this further medical advice should thank me later.” Angelo Ngor
“I have seen our so-called ‘Eatizens’ here moving with it comfortably on suite thinking they are immune from CORO. We are far much better than them,” Walter Mamgbwi.
“I ask myself why Boris Johnson didn’t put it on before he got infected? He/They didn’t know about its existence?” Mawa Bosco.
“I would like Elia “the UK proven scientist” to come out and tell us more about this card with scientific proof. Otherwise when I see this, I see madness and ignorance,” Pitia Chaplain.
“It reminds me of the Darfur soldiers putting lot of stuff around their neck and waist during the way to stop the bullet from the enemy hitting them, but wapi!” Momo.
From the Ministry of Health’s update of May 22, South Sudan confirmed the new 82 cases of the Covid-19 virus in Juba alone. And as of today 24, May the cumulative number of the confirmed cases is 655, with 6 of which are recoveries and 8 deaths. These statistics is dictated by the limitation of testing kits and the political will motivate health workers and also release the right figures.