Somalia Seeks to Reintroduce Covid-19 Restrictions

The Somali Ministry of Health on Monday said it's planning to reintroduce COVID-19 restriction measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus amid the resurgence of infections across the country.

Fawziya Abikar Nur, Minister of Health and Human Services warned that the COVID-19 situation in Somalia is dire and called on citizens to adhere to health measures that were introduced by the health ministry to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

"Please maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings at all costs. The situation is dire but we are confident that with the rollout of vaccines in the near future we will be able to manage this second wave," Nur said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.Restrictions that were introduced last year included a ban on international and local flights including those ferrying khat, closure of school and learning institutions, ban on public gatherings and a night curfew.

Nur said her ministry has submitted a proposal to the government to consider a second lockdown, noting the robust measures introduced at the beginning of the outbreak in April 2020 worked in containing its spread.

"The first outbreak was managed largely thanks to a lockdown and closure of all schools and universities. We have again submitted and advised for these same restrictions and measures," Nur said.

The Horn of Africa nation last week closed down schools for two weeks as the second wave of the disease made landfall.

Nur announced last month that the government had secured the vaccines targeting the first 1.2 million people, among them frontline workers, the elderly, and the vulnerable.

The nation has confirmed 7,257 COVID-19 cases, 239 deaths, and 3,808 recoveries as of Feb. 26.

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