THT- Educational institutions closed, social gatherings, non emergency travel and flights from a number of countries banned
While Somaliland is yet to report any case of Corona Virus infection, the intensification of spread globally and specifically within neighbouring countries is cause for concern.
This was stated by the president Muse Bihi Abdi during a presser at the Somaliland presidency in Hargeisa where he announced that the inter-ministerial National Corona Virus Propalyctic committee he created a few days ago is now fully function.
‘While it is praises to Allah that our country is yet to be afflicted by the Corona Virus which is threatening livelihoods worldwide especially in the West, I urge all Somilanders to strictly adhere to all guidelines issued by the government through the national Propalyctic committee’ said president Muse during the lengthily tet’a’ tet with local journalists
The urging by the head of state were seemingly to prepare citizens for stringent Covid-19 prevention guidelines issued by the national Committee.
The guidelines said to be initial and effective for one month beginning on the 19th March target a few sectors namely private medical institutions, Citizens with medical skills not under ministry of health employment, Educational Institutions, Mosques, Air transport, and Social functions.
In details the Corona Virus prevention guidelines in Somaliland are as follows
- Private Health Facilities
• All non public health facilities like hospitals, Clinics and Laboratories as well as related employees shall operate under the Somaliland ministry of health directives
• Export of any medical equipment and drugs has been banned
• All citizens with medical skills but not in the civil service are asked to report to nearest (national, regional, District or village) ministry of health Office for registration as emergency medical volunteers
- Educational Institutions
• All educational institutions both public and private namely universities, colleges, secondary and Primary schools (day & boarding) and privately owned orphanages to cease all learning activities for one month.
• Public owned orphanages shall remain open but under strict monitoring by the Ministry of health
• All Imams are instructed that all the five compulsory five daily prayers should each not exceed 25 minutes
• All mosques to close stop their toilets and ablution places thence make them inaccessible to worshippers (public)
• All windows at mosques should be open all the time
• All worshippers should make ablution at home or work places
• Any person coughing or exhibiting flu symptoms to pray at home and
• All religious leaders to offer prayers to Allah towards virus prevention of the virus prevalence in the country
- Travel and Air Transport
• Flights emanating from countries with trusted health policies shall be allowed into the country but with strenuous passenger medical examination at entry point.
• All flights and passengers from China, Italy Iran, France, South Korea, Spain, Kenya and Somalia are banned
• All citizens to postpone all unnecessary foreign travel
• All Somalilanders in the Disapora (be it from countries with virus prevalence or not) to postpone all non emergency travel to Somaliland
- Social Functions
• All social functions like weddings, traditional parties and sports events have been banned
• All seminars and workshops have been banned for the duration of this directive
• All Marfash’s (khat chewing joints) to close to the public for the one month period.
- Regional Covid-19 Propalyctic Committees
In order to properly and effectively coordinate all Coronavirus prevention and management activities country, regional committees have been established
The regional committees are composed of members from the
• Regional security Committee
• Ministries of health, interior, religious affairs, education and information regional coordinators
The regional Covid-19 Propalyctic committees shall work under guidelines from the national Committee in Hargeisa while implementing ministry of health virus policies
The national Corona Virus Propalyctic committee also urged all citizens with coughs or exhibiting flu like symptoms to immediately visit nearest health facility.
Citizens are also urged to strict observe the WHO coronavirus prevention guidelines especially sanitization and contact distances
All the above directives are effective Nationwide for one month as from the 19th March 2020
The Somaliland National Coronavirus Propalyctic Committee which was established by president Muse Bihi Abdi last Saturday is an inter-ministerial one composed from the ministries of Interior, Information, Education, Religious affairs and chaired by the minister of Health.
This are the first coronavirus prevention guidelines issued to the General public in Somaliland despite non report of any infection.
It is hoped that this guidelines will greatly support the prevention and subsequent if any spread of coronavirus infection in Somaliland where necessary tools like testing kits and drugs are very minute.
BY: Yusuf M Hasan