As of 28 May, the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Somalia reached 1,731 with 67 deaths and 265 recoveries. Banadir region is the epicentre of the pandemic with 1,126 cases, 43 deaths and 225 recoveries; followed by Somaliland with 225 cases, 16 deaths and 21 recoveries. Hirshabelle State has recorded the lowest numbers so far: nine cases and one death. The cases are surging at a time that Somalia is struggling to contain floods that have affected nearly a million people and desert locusts that are devouring crops and pasture in Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug; creating a triple threat.
There is growing concern that the virus may spread to IDP settlements and among health workers. According to UNHCR, one IDP and one refugee tested positive for COVID-19 as of 17 May. The IDP is quarantined at home in an IDP camp and the refugee admitted to a hospital. According to WHO , the virus has exposed weaknesses in the capacity of Somalia’s health system to respond to an outbreak of this magnitude. While various measures have been instituted to mitigate the impact, tracing the sources of locally transmitted cases has proved challenging. The situation is complicated by societal norms, cultural practices and high population density in major urban cities. According to WHO, most COVID-19 deaths in Martini hospital, Mogadishu, have been elderly patients and people with chronic health conditions to which the virus was transmitted at home by other family members.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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