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Somalia bans entry of passengers from Coronavirus-infested countries at its airports

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Passengers originating from coronavirus-infested nations will not be allowed to step into Somalia, details have emerged, even as the world tackles one of the most unique diseases.

Already, neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia have recorded positive cases of coronavirus incidents, further causing panic at all entry points in the war-ravaged nation.

Those affected are passengers originating from China, Italy, Iran and the Republic of Korea. The virus, which has been declared a pandemic by WHO, has hit China and Italy the most in a record three months.

According to a notice issued to pilots, individuals who have been to the aforementioned countries in the last 14 days will be denied entry to the country as a precaution in tackling the virus.

"All passengers originating from China, Iran, Republic of Korea, Italy and, or transiting one of the above countries for the last 14 days, are not allowed to enter Somalia," reads the NOTAM.

And in case of a contraction during a flight, pilots have been asked to communicate to authorities before landing for logistical purposes, the NOTAM adds.

This, authorities said, would be in compliance with the already established mechanisms to handle the pandemic, at all points of entry in the country with regard to WHO recommendations.

"In case of suspected Coronavirus during the flight inbound to Somalia, all airmen are required to report immediately on radio as early as possible," it adds. "Before the arrival of air traffic control and comply with health screening to all passengers entering Somalia in all International airports."

Coronavirus has so far infected over 140,000 people worldwide, causing over 5,000 deaths mainly in China, Iran, and Italy. Of the infections, 65,000 are said to have recovered.

Among those affected are renowned personalities, including top football players and coaches, political leaders and leading personalities in the media industry, reports indicate.

So delicate has been the situation that most economic activities have been grounded across the world. This, analysts warn, could plunge most countries to an unprecedented recession.

In all International airports like Aden Adde in Mogadishu, passengers are sprayed with disinfectants as a measure to eradicate possible infections in the world's poorest nation.

But some critics among them Wadajir party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame questioned the preparedness of Somalia in tackling such emergencies, accusing FGS of incompetence.

According to him, the country had failed to airlift several students stuck in Wuhan city, China, which is the epicenter of the virus. The breakout was first recorded in the city, forcing most inhabitants to self-quarantine to avoid further spread.

In Kenya, the positive woman had reportedly traveled from the US via London while in Ethiopia, the victim is a Japanese lady who had arrived from Burkina Faso, authorities said.