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Fears of undetected cases as COVID-19 soars in Somalia

With more than 800 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Somalia, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) warns that many cases are going untested and undetected.

Somalia has faced decades of violence and cycles of drought and floods, leaving its health care system ill-equipped to respond to this outbreak.

Richard Crothers, Somalia Country Director at the IRC, said: “The IRC is extremely concerned that Somalia is becoming quickly overwhelmed by a major uptick in COVID-19 cases. The situation is on the verge of spiraling out of control.

“We are seeing widespread community transmission in a country that will not be able to handle a multitude of severely ill patients at once. IRC staff are reporting that people with symptoms are being told to stay home to save the limited health resources for those who become severely ill, showing that the official count is far off from reality.”


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