MOGADISHU: Somalia’s militant group Al-Shabab said on Friday they had set up a COVID-19 treatment center in the country, and said the disease posed a grave threat, citing international health authorities.
“Al-Shabab’s corona (virus) prevention and treatment committee has opened a COVID-19 center,” the group said in a broadcast on their radio Andalus, adding the center had been set up in Jilib, about 380 km south of the capital Mogadishu.
“International health organizations said COVID-19 is terribly spreading in countries of Africa continent.”
For more than a decade the group has been fighting to topple the Horn of Africa’s Western-backed central government and establish its own government.
It frequently carries out bombings and gun assaults in Somalia against both military and civilian targets including hotels, intersections and checkpoints.
In the broadcast a man who identified himself as Sheikh Mohamed Bali thanked Al-Shabab for setting up the center and asked those with symptoms to report to the center.
“We thank the administration who established the center, we ask the people not to hide (the) disease to avoid spreading of the virus, people should report to the center,” he said.
Another person in the broadcast who did not identify himself said the center is ready with vehicles to transport suspected coronavirus patients who call in seeking for care.