The number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Somalia spiked

The number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Somalia spiked, pushing the total number of confirmed cases since 16 March to 286. The cases include 15 health workers, some of whom are staff of the Ministry of Health and Human Services.

Most of the cases are in Mogadishu but there are five in Somaliland; and two in Kismayo in Jubaland, including one an internally displaced person (IDP). Seven fatalities and two recoveries have been reported thus far.

The majority of the cases, including the first fatality, have no travel history signifying local transmission of COVID-19 and WHO says further transmission of the virus can be expected. There is an increased risk that cases may go undetected or undiagnosed if community transmission begins and becomes widespread. The impact on the 2.6 million IDPs living in more than 2,000 crowded settlements with limited access to health and water, sanitation and hygiene services would be catastrophic.