Red Cross Fears Coronavirus Spreading In Somalia’s Displaced Camps

“Some 2.6 million people live in camps where it is hard to maintain a safe distance and wash hands regularly”.

“NAIROBI/GAROWE – The new coronavirus could be spreading undetected through camps across Somalia hosting some 2.6 million displaced people, the Red Cross warned on Tuesday, as floods and conflict swelled the numbers fleeing into overcrowded settlements.

Almost 500,000 people have been forced from their homes by recent floods in central Somalia, the United Nations said, putting further pressure on some 2,000 camps across the Horn of Africa nation, which has been mired in conflict since 1991.

‘We are concerned that many COVID cases are going undetected, especially in the internal displaced camps,' said Ana Maria Guzman, health coordinator for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in a statement.

‘Because of the ongoing conflict in Somalia, and also we are facing floods right now in Somalia, there is an increase in the number of internal displaced population into urban areas and this creates the perfect environment for infectious disease.'”

Nita Bhalla and Mohammed Omer report for Thomson Reuters Foundation  June 16, 2020.