Immediate priorities include strengthening the screening and quarantine facilities at points of entry.
All PoEs are currently closed and the priority is to continue to strengthen readiness of PoEs before they re-open. The PoEs Technical Committee meets Sundays and Wednesdays with 5-6 relevant ministries and the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), to discuss issues related to the movement of humanitarian aid (during curfew), aid delivery, and UNHAS flights.
WHO supported training of 65 teams at PoEs on COVID-19 surveillance and infection control measures utilizing WHO interim guidance on surveillance and infection prevention and control. A total of 50 volunteers were trained to start health education in Port Sudan focusing on COVID-19. Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) material for the triage and primary screening areas in PoEs was donated by WHO.
IOM has collected data on PoEs and timelines for mobility restrictions. The most recent dashboard is available here: https://reliefweb.int/map/sudan/covid-19-movement-restrictions-sudan-mobility-restriction-dashboard-5-21-may-2020
IOM conducted a needs assessment at Khartoum International Airport assessing the needs for infrastructure rehabilitation, IPC equipment and WASH facilities to support health screening upon arrival and IPC protection for departing passengers. IOM continues discussions with the Government of Sudan on how to safely repatriate up to 11,000 Sudanese who are stranded abroad.
The status and preparedness of unofficial points of entry is unknown.
Funding is required to repatriate Sudanese abroad and a plan must be put in place to adequately monitor people who have returned from abroad. Clarity on the protocols for triage and quarantine when Sudanese nationals are repatriated and specifically the mix between home isolation and accommodation in government run facilities.
The absence of resources and inter-agency planning for health screening at points of entry once Sudan’s borders reopen will affect the COVID-19 mitigation and response efforts. Staff at PoEs and non-health agencies at borders—such as immigration and customs—lack training in how to safely exercise their border management functions whilst protecting themselves and travelers crossing the border.
Provision of IPC and social distancing for passengers departing from Khartoum International Airport – both on emergency evacuation flights and for regular services once Sudan reopens its borders.