Somalia’s Puntland state to re-open Quranic schools amid new spike in virus cases

News DeskBy News Desk

Amid the rise of coronavirus cases in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland, authorities in the region have announced to re-open Quranic schools barely a week after the state temporarily eased the COVID-19 containment restrictions.

Speaking to the media, Puntland Justice Minister, Awil Sheikh Hamud said the state is going to reopen religious learning institutions which have been badly affected since the outbreak of Coronavirus in the region.

“The teachers suffered losses, so, we decided just to resume the learning and take much precaution measures to avert the virus,” he said.

In late March, Puntland had imposed a dusk-dawn curfew, banned all vehicles from entering or leaving the state in a desperate move to curb the surging COVID-19 cases.

Last week, the region has announced that it has lifted the ban it had imposed on the use, importation and sale of Khat, a step that was initially taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Fresh COVID-19 cases

The number of novel coronavirus cases in region, the second worst-hit region in the country after Banadir, has risen to 163 with 2 new cases reported over the past 24 hours, Puntland’s Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

Another 5 patients died due to the virus since the outbreak of the deadly pandemic in the region. Added the region’s health ministry.

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to over 200 countries and regions, with the US and Europe the hardest-hit areas.

More than 5.1 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll surpassing 330,000 and nearly 2 million recoveries, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US.