Somalia on Wednesday imposed strict measures to stem the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, banning large public gatherings for 30 days and closing schools and universities, government offices, and sports arenas for two weeks.

People must wear masks and observe a two-meter distance and other health guidelines when attending permitted gatherings, information minister Osman Dubbe said.The number of COVID-19 cases has been rising in the past two months.

On Tuesday, Dubbe said on national television that all passengers arriving in the country will be required to have negative results from valid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 tests done within 72 hours and will have to undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine.

All local flights and interstate movements of people are also suspended. Staff must work from home unless they provide essential services.

The new measures came after Minister of Health and Human Services Fawziya Abikar Nur warned that the COVID-19 situation in Somalia is dire and called on citizens to adhere to health measures to curb the spread of the virus. As of Monday, the Horn of Africa nation had reported 7,392 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 243 deaths and 3,814 recoveries.

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