– A practicing nurse in a Mogadishu hospital is among the latest victims of Coronavirus, officials said, as new infections continue to rage Somalia, a country with almost a dysfunctional healthcare system.
Zamzam became the first medic to die of the deadly virus on Sunday, just five days after she was admitted to Martini Hospital, which is the only isolation facility for COVID-19 patients in the war-torn nation.
Sources within three families told reporters that she tested positive for COVID-19 after thorough tests. She was taken to the facility to fight for her life before dying under the watch of her colleagues.
Details obtained from the family indicate that she worked with the Ministry of Health in Somalia and partly rendered her services at Kalkaal Specialist Hospital, where she worked as a consultant on nursing.
Early this month, three medical doctors working at a Turkish-run hospital tested positive for Coronavirus, forcing the management to shut down operations, leaving only the emergency section critical patients, authorities said.
As of Sunday, the Ministry of Health confirmed 46 new cases taking the national tally to 436. Of the latest new cases, 41 were from the Banadir region where Mogadishu is situated while five were from the semi-autonomous Puntland state.
But even more worrying, deaths continued to rise in Somalia, hitting 23 by Sunday with just 10 recoveries, a move which could throw both the government and the international partners off balance in the fight against the pandemic.
This now means Somalia is the second-worst hit with Coronavirus pandemic within East and Horn of Africa after Djibouti. Although Djibouti has recorded 1032 cases, it’s recovery is past 400 with just only two deaths.
For neighboring Kenya, the total number of infections is 353 with just 14 deaths. The East Africa nation has also registered 106 recoveries as of Sunday according to its Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Rashid Aman.
Interestingly, Somalia’s number in an upward trajectory despite the fact the only a few cases have been tested compared with all its neighbors. The country doesn’t have a capacity to test mass cases due to insufficient equipment, officials said.
However, several precautionary measures have been employed in a bid to curb the spread. Among others, both domestic and international flights, learning activities have all been suspended.
To also enforce social distancing, authorities have imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew within the Banadir region. The curfew was revised to the initial 8 pm to 5 am after violent confrontations between the police and civilian.
For three better part of Friday and Saturday, angry residents lit bonfires within Mogadishu, condemning the alleged shooting of two innocent civilians. The police officer responsible has since been arrested, authorities added.
At least 2.9 million people have been infected with the deadly virus as of Sunday. Of this figure, 800,000 have recovered while 204,000 have since died according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University