Editor’s note: Puntland is an autonomous region of northeast Somalia, to the immediate east of Somaliland – Taiwan’s latest diplomatic ally.

RISE IN COVID-19 INFECTIONS IN PUNTLAND DUE TO LAX PREVENTIVE MEASURES

Garowe  (PP News Desk ) – The City of Garowe is experiencing an increase in the number of people  getting infected with the Covid-19 virus.

The rise in the infection rate allegedly results from Puntland Ministry of Health policy decisions that wound down preventive measures.

About 150 people have recently become infected with Covid-19, most of them being Garowe residents.

“There are people who do not go public with the illness, and some people who (have) died of the illness” said a health worker who spoke to Puntland Post on the condition of anonymity. “Puntland Health Ministry has stopped meetings on Covid-19 prevention measures” the health worker added.

Is Puntland Minister for Health Jama Salah Hassan aware that lax preventive measures have caused a spike in Covid-19 infection rates in Puntland?

There is also a transition risk at the Covid-19 test centre in Garowe, where people go for Covid-19 tests.

Neither social distancing rules nor other prevention procedures are followed at the centre. “People coming to the centre for tests do not wear face covering” the health worker said.

The World Health Organisation and USAID have donated Covid-19 test equipment to the Puntland Ministry of Health.

How the centre is run and how revenues from tests are managed is not known.

The Health Ministry of Puntland reversed a decision about Covid-19 test fees, when allegations about misuse of the test centre for personal gains emerged two months ago.

With the colder season not too far off, there is a fear that infection rates may increase if the Health Ministry in Puntland State sticks with the apparent policy of taking the risk of community transmission of the novel coronavirus in Puntland less seriously than previously.

This article first appeared in the Puntland Post and is republished with permission

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