Since April 7, the number of COVID-19 in Somalia has risen by 382 which is perhaps the highest such uptick in the region save for Djibouti.
This trend is indicative of a fast spread of the disease and a cause of concern given the country’s ability to respond in the midst of myriad challenges and weak economic and infrastructure capacity.
Whereas COVID-19 more than ever calls for collaborative efforts between the government and the people to defeat it, a deliberate effort by the government to keep its citizens in the dark is not only a betrayal of that collaboration but also a gross violation of human rights.
Since April 17, the Ministry of Health has kept off the public eye the number of tests it derives its COVID-19 positive cases from. A positive or negative determination can only derive from a sample. It follows therefore than a certain number of people must be subjected to a prescribed test to establish the number of those who test positive or negative.
SCOPE OF SPREAD
Failure, therefore, to declare the sample makes the result illogical and unbelievable. This is the confusing position the Ministry of Health has put Somalis and the world in. Releasing the number of tested cases is not only for purposes of fulfilling logic and believability; it is critical to understanding the scope of the spread of the disease.
Up until at about April 17, a peek into the figures released from the MoH by then indicates an average of 270 people had been tested for the disease with 116 testing positive for the disease. That meant out of those tested, about 43% tested positive for the disease.
By April 25, the number of COVID-19 had risen to 390 which translates to a 98% increase in infections since April 7 when the number stood at 8. It serves no purpose to hide the scale of the spread of the disease from the public; if anything, it undermines public response.
On behalf of Somali people, therefore, Goobjoog News is calling on the Federal Government to find it useful and critical to providing sufficient information to the public.
The Minister of Health Dr. Fawziyo Abikar can do better than issuing titbits and give this fight which calls for collective action a human face.
Somalis and the world at large need to know from whence the Ministry of Health derives its figures.