Top envoys of the African Union and United Nations in Somalia have called on Somalis to strictly adhere to health guidelines while celebrating Eid al-Fitr on Thursday to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

James Swan, the UN Secretary-General Special Representative for Somalia, in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Thursday lauded gains that have been made by Somalis to control the spread of the virus in the country.

“However, it is too early to let our guard down, therefore I encourage everyone to continue to observe the health protocols and celebrate Eid safely in a spirit of joy, reconciliation, kindness, and solidarity,” said Swan.

Health guidelines that have been imposed by the Somalia government include requiring individuals to put on masks and adhere to social distancing and handwashing measures in public places.

Francisco Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to Somalia, said in a separate statement on Wednesday that for the second year in a row, Somalis will celebrate Eid al-Fitr in a pandemic, this time with a more optimistic outlook as vaccine deployments are ongoing to protect people from the virus.

Madeira called on all Muslims in Somalia to support vulnerable members in their communities while continuing to adhere to health and safety protocols for coronavirus.

Somalia has so far confirmed 14,486 COVID-19 cases, 753 deaths, and 6,325 recoveries as of Tuesday, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.

So far Somalia has vaccinated at least 117,600 people, mostly frontline health workers and the elderly since the government started rolling out Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines on March 16.

On April 11, Somalia also received 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine donated by China to boost the war against COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Enditem

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