How stigma is holding back the fight against Coronavirus in Somalia

On 16 March 2020, Somalia’s Ministry of Health confirmed the first COVID-19 case in the country. In response, and to prevent a wide spread of the virus, the government immediately imposed  restrictions including the suspension of both domestic and international flights, the closing of schools, universities and Qur’anic Madrasas, and ultimately imposed a night time curfew effective from 15th April.  Despite these measures, the virus has spread in Mogadishu. The first person who died of Coronavirus on 8th April was a Somali citizen who had no travel history, clearly indicating community transmissions. Worryingly, the virus is spreading across Mogadishu and other parts of the country at a speed, and there is no institutional capacity to trace contacts. Read more