Mogadishu mayor Omar Filish (pictured) has claimed the number of COVID-19 cases in Somalia is higher than reported and that some of those who died out of the disease are yet to be buried in what contradicts the official version of the government on the pandemic.
Speaking in Mogadishu Thursday, the mayor said he personally knows some of the people who have been infected by the disease and called for public vigilance and adherence to measures set out by the government.
“Coronavirus has reached the country and many people who I know are infected. Many people are suffering and others have died,” the mayor said.
“Some have never gone abroad and lived here in the country. Some of those who died were buried and some are yet to,” Filish said against a government position which indicates only one person has succumbed to the disease while the total COVID-19 tally in the country is 12.
The mayor’s remarks add to concerns raised earlier in the week by both the Somali Medical Association and Health Deputy Minister Mohamed Saiid Abdullahi both of which warned the numbers could be high since one of the cases recorded had no travel history.
“There could be cases undetected cases since there have been many patients with symptoms similar to COVID-19 who have visited various medical centres,” the Association said in a statement Monday.
The concerns are further buttressed by the information that the 58-year-old man who succumbed to the disease Tuesday had been transferred to at least three hospitals before he was finally admitted at Martini hospital which has been designated for isolation and treatment of COVID-19 patients in the country.