Mogadishu, Feb 18 (IANS) The Somali government has banned public gatherings and called on non-essential workers to work from home amid rising cases of Covid-19 in the country.
The ministers of health, information and security said the infection rate has gone up in February after nine people died and 100 new cases were reported on Tuesday, signalling the resurgence of the deadly virus, the Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.
Fawziya Abikar Nur, Minister of Health and Human Services said 15 people died in less than 48 hours in Martini Hospital and another 50 have been admitted to government hospitals, indicating that the risk of the disease has increased.
Nur said samples collected from patients have been sent abroad for analysis to confirm if a new Covid-19 variant has been in Somalia.
She said her ministry was cooperating with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the Covid-19 tests to determine whether there is a new strain.
“The Covid-19 vaccine would be available, which would play a key role in controlling it,” said Nur.
She called on Somalis across the country to remain vigilant and follow health guidelines to help curb the potential spread of the virus.
The Horn of Africa nation has so far confirmed 5,273 Covid-19 cases, 163 deaths and 3,750 recoveries as of Tuesday.
Hassan Jimare, the Security Minister, said the government has a responsibility to protect its citizens and thus the latest directives are based on medical advice because of the current situation in the country.
He said the security forces have been directed to implement the directives to ensure that no gathering is allowed across the country.