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At least 500 may have died of COVID-19 in two weeks-Mogadishu Mayor

Saturday May 2, 2020

MOGADISHU (HOL) - At least 500 people may have died of COVID-19 in the last two weeks in Mogadishu alone, the city’s mayor Omar Filish has said affirming fears the official numbers released by the government in its briefings are way much lower.

Omar said the city administration has been recording COVID-19 related deaths following a request from the Federal Government.

“We record between 19 and 49 deaths related to COVID-19 daily,” Omar said.
“We have recorded at least 500 deaths since April 19 to date,” the mayor said Friday.

This is corroborated by various reports of increased number of people being interred in city cemeteries in the last few weeks.

Medical workers and grave diggers interviewed by the UK newspaper, The Guardian in a report published today said the number of people buried daily had risen by sigmificantly.

A grave digger said they now dig up to 20 graves a day unlike on normal days where they dig on demand.

An ambulance driver said he had transported between at least 18 bodies for burial daily in the last two weeks.

Information Minister Mohamed Mareye said Wednesday the government recognized all recent deaths as COVID-19 related.

“[Relatives] are saying someone died of malaria or hepatitis. That is not true. The Somali government recognises that all recent deaths are of Covid-19,” Mareye said.

The official government figures put the number of deaths at 28 while 601 people have since contracted the disease as of April 30.


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