Bermuda Post

Sunday, Jun 23, 2024

"Huge Biological Risk," Warns WHO After Sudan Fighters Occupy Health Lab

"Huge Biological Risk," Warns WHO After Sudan Fighters Occupy Health Lab

"There is a huge biological risk associated with the occupation of the central public health lab... by one of the fighting parties," said Nima Saeed Abid, the WHO's representative in Sudan.
Fighters have occupied a national public laboratory in Sudan holding samples of diseases including polio and measles, creating an "extremely, extremely dangerous" situation, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday.

Fighters "kicked out all the technicians from the lab... which is completely under the control of one of the fighting parties as a military base," said Nima Saeed Abid, the WHO's representative in Sudan.

He did not say which of the fighting parties had taken over the laboratory.

Mr Abid said he had received a call from the head of the national lab in Khartoum on Monday, a day before a US-brokered 72-hour ceasefire between Sudan's warring generals officially came into effect after 10 days of urban combat.

"There is a huge biological risk associated with the occupation of the central public health lab," said Mr Abid.

He pointed out that the lab held so-called isolates, or samples, of a range of deadly diseases, including measles, polio and cholera.

The UN health agency also said it had confirmed 14 attacks on healthcare during the fighting, killing eight and injuring two.

And it warned that "depleting stocks of blood bags risk spoiling due to lack of power."

"In addition to chemical hazards, bio-risk hazards are also very high due to lack of functioning generators," Nima Abid said.

The Sudanese health ministry has put the number of deaths so far at 459, with a further 4,072 wounded, the WHO said Tuesday, adding it had not been able to verify that number.

270,000 could flee

The UN refugee agency said thousands had already fled the violence and that it was bracing for up to 270,000 people to flee Sudan into neighbouring Chad and South Sudan.

UNHCR said it does not yet have estimates for the numbers headed to other surrounding countries.

Laura Lo Castro, the agency's representative in Chad, said some 20,000 refugees had arrived there since the fighting began 10 days ago.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva via video-link, she said the UNHCR expected up to 100,000 "in the worst-case scenario".

Her colleague in South Sudan, Marie-Helene Verney, said that around 4,000 of the more than 800,000 South Sudanese refugees living in Sudan had returned home since the fighting began.

Looking forward, she told reporters that "the most likely scenario is 125,000 returns of South Sudanese refugees into South Sudan".

Up to 45,000 Sudanese might also flee as refugees into South Sudan, she said.

'Staring into the abyss'

Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN humanitarian agency, said the fighting had led to "acute shortages of food, water, medicines and fuel, and limited communications and electricity."

"The people of Sudan, already deeply affected by humanitarian needs, are staring into the abyss."

Some 15.8 million people in Sudan -- a third of the population -- already needed humanitarian aid before the latest violence erupted.

But humanitarian operations have also been heavily affected by the fighting, Jens Laerke warned, highlighting among other things reports of looting of humanitarian supplies and warehouses.

Five humanitarian workers have been killed.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Bermuda Post
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
'I just lost it' Lowe’s worker fired after 13 years of employment for confronting thieves trying to steal $2K of merchandise
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
×