Covid-19 in Somalia: Responses and Challenges amid Election Fever
Somalia’s efforts to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic face several imminent challenges. This Info Pack looks at those challenges as well as government responses to coronavirus amid an election fever in the country.
Somalia remains one of Africa’s least prepared countries to face the Covid-19 pandemic. Poor health infrastructure, relatively large numbers of internal displacement, insecurity amid an ongoing Al-Shabaab insurgency and natural disasters, such as a locust outbreak and seasonal flooding, remain primary challenges to an effective Covid-19 response. For these reasons, media reports have indicated that the impact of the disease could be worse in Somalia than anywhere else in the world. There were fears that the novel Coronavirus could turn the East African nation into another China, which at that time had the most Coronavirus-related deaths, or worse. However, almost three months on, these predictions have not come to fruition, even without robust preventative measures or significant international assistance. On the contrary, it seems the prevalence of the virus has decreased in the capital Mogadishu after the government imposed restrictions early on. However, the virus continues to spread rapidly in the regional states and there are fears that community transmission is in full swing throughout the country. Somalia confirmed its first cases of the Covıd-19 infection in Mogadishu on 16 March 2020. As of 02 June, there are 2,089 confirmed cases in Somalia with 79 total deaths and 380 recoveries.