South Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and North Africa had already confirmed several coronavirus cases. Only East Africa had managed to stay free of the virus that has taken the world by storm. However, that is not the case anymore.
On Friday, both Kenya and Ethiopia announced their first coronavirus cases. The two countries had one patient each. In Kenya, the patient was a local woman traveling back to the country from the US.
In Ethiopia, the country’s health minister, Lia Tadesse, announced that a Japanese national, a 48-year old woman, traveled to the country from Burkina Faso on March 4, 2020. She is now under isolation and receiving treatment.
The two cases have caused plenty of fear in the region. Somalia depends on Ethiopian and Kenyan infrastructure such as airports. There is real fear in the country that it is only a matter of time before the first coronavirus case is diagnosed and reported in the country.
Unlike Ethiopia and Kenya, Somalia’s health system has a long way to go after years of clan-based clashes, political instability, and broken economy. Therefore, the country is least prepared to handle coronavirus, which the World Health Organization has declared a pandemic.