Sudan bans travellers from India, imposes other COVID-19 restrictions

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan will restrict all travellers who have visited India within the prior two weeks, the country's health emergency committee said in a statement.

India's total COVID-19 caseload topped 25 million on Tuesday, and there are concerns about the spread of a new, highly infectious B.1.617 variant, first found there.

Sudan's health emergency committee also warned that total COVID-19 cases in the African country could top the 100,000 mark by mid-June if restrictions were not imposed.

The country's fragile health system has been strained by the coronavirus epidemic, with patients struggling to access hospital beds, oxygen and medications.

Travellers coming from Egypt and Ethiopia would be re-tested the committee said.

The commission also ordered schools and universities to be closed for one month starting immediately, and restricted large social gatherings as well as mass prayers.

It also set a mask mandate in markets, workplaces, and public transport.

The committee reported a total of more than 34,707 cases as of May 16, however officials have said that real numbers are likely to be much higher given low rates of testing.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; writing by Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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