Somalia’s COVID-19 cases soar to 1,502 after 47 tested positive

A handout photo made available by the Greek Organisation For The Public Health shows medical personnel make detection tests for Covid -19 to refugees from Somalia and Sudan hosted at a hotel in the area of Kranidi, Peloponnese, 20 April 2020. [Handout photo/EPA/EFE]

Somali Health Ministry on Tuesday confirmed 47 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total tally of infections to 1,502.

Fawziya Abikar, the Health Minister said the new patients are from the semi-autonomous region of Puntland which has 19, Banadir 13, Somaliland 8 and SouthWest 7.

Abikar said two patients succumbed to the deadly respiratory disease, bringing the total number of deaths since the pandemic was reported in the country to 59.

She said 15 people recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of people who have been discharged from hospitals to 178.

The minister said 42 of the latest cases are male while five others are female persons amid concern from the UN that the cases are largely due to community transmission.

The Horn of Africa nation joined the long list of countries dealing with COVID-19 on March 16, when the Health Ministry of Somalia announced the first confirmed case.