Sudanese Approve of COVID-19 Lockdown but Critical of Government's Pandemic Performance

Shortly after Sudan recorded its first COVID-19 case on 13 March 2020, the government announced a raft of containment measures, including restrictions on visas and air travel and a lockdown closing schools and universities, shops, markets, restaurants, and other commercial activities. With more than half of the population living below the poverty line, pandemic-related restrictions represented a significant threat to people’s livelihoods and were not consistently followed. As of 6 February 2022, the country had reported 58,874 COVID-19 cases and 3,588 related deaths and had administered more than 3.7 million vaccine doses. According to findings from an Afrobarometer survey in early 2021, a majority of Sudanese considered lockdown restrictions necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19, in spite of the toll they took on the economy and people’s livelihoods. Two out of three citizens say they found it difficult to comply with lockdown restrictions. A similar majority say the government is doing “fairly badly” or “very badly" in managing the response to the pandemic. Few Sudanese trust their government to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and only half say they are likely to try to get vaccinated.