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The Coronavirus Pandemic Could Kill more People in Somalia than Anywhere Else

Mogadishu confirmed its first case of COVID-19, the infection caused by the novel coronavirus, on Monday in a student who returned from China and is now in quarantine, according to the country’s health ministry. “Currently, we don’t have a single testing kit in the country. We send samples to South Africa and wait for at least three days to know the results. This is a big challenge for us,” Mohamed said. The outbreak reached Africa later than other continents, but at least 31 countries have now confirmed cases, with 13 reported deaths. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) called on African countries to “wake up” to the growing threat of the virus, which has killed more than 8,600 worldwide and infected at least 207,000 people. The Somali government announced measures on Tuesday to reduce the potential spread of the virus. Schools and universities in the country have been closed starting March 19 for a period of 15 days, and large public gatherings have been banned, according to the prime minister.