"That is extremely, extremely dangerous because we have polio isolates in the lab. We have measles isolates in the lab. We have cholera isolates in the lab," WHO representative in Sudan Dr. Nima Saeed Abid told a United Nations (UN) briefing in Geneva via video call. "There is a huge biological risk associated with the occupation of the central public health lab in Khartoum by one of the fighting parties."
He added that the main concern is that the lab technicians no longer have access to the lab to safely contain the biological material and substances available. "In addition to chemical hazards, bio-risk hazards are also very high due to lack of functioning generators," Abid said.
During a recent Fox News segment on the matter, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the WHO has failed to safely secure high-security labs around the globe.
Fighting between rebel forces and the Sudanese military has been taking place since April 15. The said biolab takeover came as officials warned that more refugees could flee Sudan despite the U.S.-brokered 72-hour ceasefire between rival forces.
Al Jazeera reported that the fighting has plunged Sudan into chaos, pushing the already heavily aid-dependent African nation to the brink of collapse. Dozens of hospitals have shuttered in the Sudan capital and elsewhere across the country due to the fighting and dwindling medical and fuel supplies, according to the Sudanese Doctors' Syndicate.
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." Sudan's Federal Ministry of Health has put the number of deaths so far at 459, with a further 4,072 wounded.
"If the violence does not stop, there is a danger that the health system will collapse," the UN agency warned Friday, April 28. (Related: South Sudan confirms new outbreak of vaccine-related polio.)
A witness told CNN that shops were running out of food completely and several food factories in the state had been looted.
"As for the water supplies, we don't have water for 11 days straight. We only get water from a well nearby. So, you have to go all the way to the well with barrels or stuff if you have a car. If not, you have to take something small to get enough water for you," the witness said.
Fifty-one-year-old Saif Mohamed Othman, a freelancer who resides in Shambat, North Bahri, also noted that food stocks running out in stores is made worse by the complete burning of the central market, which supplies large parts of Bahri with vegetables, meat and other food. He added that residents are also struggling financially because state employees had not received their wages before the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of last week, and the bank's ATMs have stopped functioning.
Othman told CNN there are patrols in place to protect the neighborhood from the widespread looting and robbing that large areas in Khartoum have been exposed to due to the lack of security and police presence.
Due to the recent events, Sudanese people are now attempting to escape the capital. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said thousands had already fled the violence and that it was bracing for up to 270,000 people to flee Sudan into neighboring Chad and South Sudan.
Laura Lo Castro, the agency's representative in Chad, said some 20,000 refugees had arrived at the Egypt border since the fighting began 10 days ago.
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Watch the video below that talks about how the biolab takeover in Sudan could be intentional.
This video is from the Evolutionary Energy Arts channel on Brighteon.com.