On Tuesday, Sudanese rebels with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) took control of Sudan's National Public Health Laboratory in Khartoum, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to say there is now a "huge biological risk."
War correspondents in the area reported hearing widespread gunfire well into the evening indicating that a U.S.-brokered 72-hour truce agreement had already crumbled. Meanwhile, the top WHO official in Sudan, Nima Saeed Abid, said the situation was "extremely dangerous because we have polio isolates in the lab, we have measles isolates in the lab, we have cholera isolates in the lab," according to a report by Zerohedge.
A high-ranking medical source told CNN, "There is a huge biological risk associated with the occupation of the central public health lab in Khartoum by one of the fighting parties."
Meanwhile, the WHO confirmed that "trained laboratory technicians no longer have access to the laboratory." The lab being closed to the researchers and technicians is additionally dangerous given the ongoing power outages that have plagued the capital since the fighting broke out more than a week ago, which has killed roughly 500 and wounded thousands more.
According to the WHO, "it is not possible to properly manage the biological materials that are stored in the laboratory for medical purposes," which has prompted the organization to issue a warning about the risk of spoilage and the possibility of leaks of deadly pathogens from the seized lab.
The medical source said that "the danger lies in the outbreak of any armed confrontation in the laboratory because that will turn the laboratory into a germ bomb."
"An urgent and rapid international intervention is required to restore electricity and secure the laboratory from any armed confrontation because we are facing a real biological danger," the source concluded.
After a half-century of on and off again civil war, Sudan appears to be on the edge of a full-blown civil war.
While Sudan falls into the throws of war, many in other parts of the world are wondering what the U.S. and other countries are doing establishing bio-labs in such unstable regions. Particularly labs that study deadly diseases. Concerns are growing that such labs are used to develop biological weapons away from prying eyes.
Bio-labs gained international attention with the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 and have been steadily raising concerns regarding what can happen with the labs during war as seen in Ukraine and now likely in Sudan as well.
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