Somalia Confirms 71 New COVID-19 Cases As Tally Rises to 1,573

Somali Health Ministry on Wednesday confirmed 71 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total tally of infections to 1,573.

Fawziya Abikar, the Health Minister, said the new infections are from Jubaland in the southern region with the majority of cases 46, Banadir 17, the semi-autonomous region of Puntland which has six and Somaliland two.

Abikar said two patients succumbed to the deadly respiratory disease, bringing the total number of deaths to 61.

She said 10 people recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of people who have been discharged from hospitals to 188.

The minister said 52 of the latest cases are male while 19 others are female persons following the samples which were tested in the last 24 hours.

The increase in the number of COVID-19 cases comes at a time Somalia is also facing heavy flooding and a threat of desert locust infestation.

The UN has warned that if the virus transmission is not contained rapidly, the patient surge and increasing demand for health care will overwhelm the country's fragile health system.

The Horn of Africa nation has instituted measures to contain the possible spread of COVID-19 including closing schools, banning large gatherings and suspending international and domestic passenger flights.

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