Southern and Eastern Africa COVID-19 Digest

Situation Report
Somalia — Trends

Pandemic likely to compound fragile humanitarian situation

  • First case: 16 March

  • Total cases: 2,904 (as of 29 June 2020)

  • Total deaths: 90

  • Schools: Closed (544,000 learners affected)

  • Borders/Flights: Closed for all international passenger flights since 18 March. Cargo flights allowed. Land borders with Kenya and Ethiopia closed. 

  • Containment measures: Curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m imposed on 15 April for the capital Mogadishu. Nationwide ban of public gatherings. Self-quarantine required for travellers or those who had contact with symptomatic people.


Somalia had recorded 2,904 COVID-19 cases as of 29 June. Most of the cases have no travel history, signifying community transmission. The country has a weak healthcare system with limited capacity to prevent, detect and respond to a pandemic like COVID-19. Less than 20 per cent of the health facilities have the required equipment and supplies to manage an outbreak. There are also significant lacks in surveillance, laboratory testing and personal protective equipment. The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to compound an already fragile humanitarian situation in Somalia.

The country hosts large numbers of vulnerable people, including over 2.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in 2,000 overcrowded sites, with poor access to safe drinking water, clean latrines and hygiene kits including soap. More than 1.2 million people are severely food insecure. The Government announced on 17 March a series of measures to contain the virus, including the closure of schools and a ban on large gatherings. All international and domestic flights are suspended and borders closed since 18 March. The travel ban has limited movement of humanitarian staff and contractors to and within the country, disrupting humanitarian operations. The closures of borders affected the usual movements of people between Doolow in Gedo Region in Somalia, Dollo Ado in Ethiopia and Mandera in Kenya, including people who were recently displaced by violence in Gedo.


  • The Government launched on 26 March a national preparedness and response plan, which seeks US$57.8 million to scale up operations over the next nine months. 

Visit the COVID-19 Response in Somalia page to learn more about the pandemic and the humanitarian situation in the country.  

Official sources:

Ministry of Health Official Twitter and Ministry of Health webpage

COVID-19 Response in Somalia, by Ministry of Health and OCHA

Other links:

COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response, by UNESCO

COVID-19 World Travel Restrictions, by the Emergency Division of the World Food Programme (WFP)

Global COVID-19 Airport Status, by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Policy Responses to COVID-19, by IMF