The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus first reported to WHO end of December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, Republic Chine, as of 17 March 2020, the virus had spread to some 150 countries, infecting more than 170,00 people and causing 7,019 deaths.
On 16 March 2020 Somalia confirmed the first case of COVID-19, Somali Government publicly announced for the national contingency plan for preparedness and response for COVID-19 and established an emergency task force comprised of Government Line Ministries, Donors, UN agencies and NGOs.
Also, the Government set up a quarantine facility in Mogadishu, banned international flights for 2 weeks, prohibited public gatherings, and closed schools and universities.
The economic impact on urban areas will be exacerbated by possible lockdowns and resultant lack of income due to business closure. Somalia is currently experiencing a desert locust upsurge that could have significant conse- quences for food security and livelihoods. The country also experiences seasonal floods, with riverine and flash flooding expected in two months. Flooding in late 2019 affected 547,000 people, 370,000 of whom were displaced. The impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain could be significant, with lockdowns, closure of production plants, exhaustion of stocks, closure of ports, and impacts on access to markets.
As Southwest State Somalia remains in a protracted and complex humanitarian crisis, with high influx movements from rural-urban migration, poor health facilities and health systems and to the advent of COVID-19 adds yet another challenge in an already fragile environment. The protracted crisis is largely driven by climatic shocks, years of conflict, widespread poverty and long-term vulnerability. Climate-related events, mainly drought and flooding, have increased in frequency and intensity, exacerbating humanitarian needs and undermining community resilience.
The Southwest State of Somalia has declared a State level Action Plan for emergency preparedness response, for this Deyr season, he worst desert locust were affected for the farmers production. According to the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP 2020) an estimated 5.2 million people need humanitarian assistance in 2020, Southwest State Somalia are the among the worsen affected for the crises.
The Somali health authorities are exercising heightened public health vigilance to prevent further importation and local transmission and as such have put in place several recommended public health measures. However, according to WHO’s risk assessments, the risk of COVID-19 spreading into the community triggering sustained community transmission remains extremely high owing to the country’s weak health systems and fragile, conflict and vulnerable context. Therefore, it is of paramount importance, from the viewpoints of global health security to help scale up emergency operations response capacity of health authorities of Somalia urgently to support timely detection, testing and other containment measures for suppression of the virus and slowing down the human-to-human transmission in order to prevent amplification or community transmission.
The health systems in the country remains very weak and fragmented. Failure to early detect any other imported case (s) in the coming days and inability of the country’s surveillance system to aggressively trace, test and detect any secondary transmission amongst the close contacts of this laboratoryconfirmed case or any other missed or undetected travel-associated cases may result in overt or silent community transmission leading to multiple chains of transmission. The situation may lead to the outbreak spiraling out of control and spread rapidly into the community.