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Somalia: Four quarantined people test negative for COVID-19 in Puntland

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

GAROWE, Puntland - Four people were given a clean bill of health after days of forced isolation in Garowe, Puntland's health officials said, reaffirming the semi-autonomous state's preparations to tackle COVID-19.

The four were part of five people who were quarantined at Galdogob center, which is being used for isolation by the regional administration of President Said Deni Abdullahi.

In a statement, the committee in charge of Coronavirus pandemic said the four tested negatives for the disease and insisted that no positive case has been identified until now in the region.

"The committee confirms that there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in all regions of Puntland," read the statement dates April 1st, which is part of daily feeds issued by the government.

The state received test kits, face masks and other medical consignments from the federal government which had been donated by Chinese philanthropist Jack Ma, who is also the group Executive chairman for Alibaba.

According to the committee, seven people who had been also quarantined for some time, we're handed over to Galmadug authorities. They traveled from Somaliland via Puntland, the committed added.

"Seven people who had traveled from Somaliland via Puntland have been handed over to authorities in Galmadug after temporary quarantining," read the statement in part.

To manage the risks of possible submissions, Puntland imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew, which aims at limiting the movement of people. Security officials have been enforcing the curfew from 6 pm to 5 am.

Also, the government has taken preventive measures to protect workers handling the COVID-19 crisis which has rocked the entire world. Health workers in Galdogob have received the protective equipment, the statement added.

The sports sector has also been affected, following the ban on all related activities. Football fields both public and private remain closed in Puntland, and it's not clear whether the ban will be lifted any soon.

"The committee has suspended football games at both government and private stadiums. All other sports are also banned," the health committee said, adding that the state is also assessing the level of food security preparedness.

So far, Somalia has recorded five cases of Coronavirus. Of those cases, two of the victims come from secessionist Somaliland. One person has since recovered, the government said.

The virus has infected close to 1.2 million people worldwide. In which Italy Spain, the US, and China are the most affected. Despite originating in China, it has since subsided, authorities said.

But the COVID-19, which has since been declared a pandemic, has left over 53,000 people dead. Although no proper vaccine is yet to be unveiled, over 210,000 people have since recovered.