Authorities at Aden Adde Airport in Mogadishu were Wednesday taken aback after Sports Minister Khadijo Diriye declined to be tested for Corona Virus after landing from Egypt which has declared one case of the deadly disease.
Various officials including medical doctors at the facility who spoke to HOL expressed shock and fear that the Minister’s refusal to be subjected to the test put the country at risk at a time countries in the world are taking no chances to tame the viral infection.
A video circulating online showed the minister and a delegation she was with walking straight to greet officials awaiting her as medical doctors tried to direct her for testing.
All passengers alighting at the airport must go undergo the procedure at the tail end of the stairs from the aircraft.
A doctor at the airport who did not wish to be named told HOL that attempts to convince the minister to take the test hit a snag. “We were shocked and also scared that the minister could not take the test especially as we know she came from Egypt which already reported a case of the disease,” the doctor said.
He added that a minister who arrived at the airport Tuesday underwent the procedure ‘without any problem’.
Other officials at the airport who also sought anonymity expressed shock that the minister could decline to be tested yet the procedure was a global emergency. The World Health Organization (WHO) has instructed governments to take all measures at their disposal primarily screening travellers in all points of exit to check spread of the disease which emanated from China.
IRANIAN MINISTER INFECTED
As a minister in Somalia is declining to be tested for her own good and that of the entire nation, her counterpart in Iran is fighting for his life after contracting the disease.
The Iran deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi tested positive after days of leading the campaign to combat the disease. An MP in the same country also announced he had tested positive amid reports the country’s spokesman who was accompanying the deputy minister during a press conference could also have been infected.
“My corona test is positive … I don’t have a lot of hope of continuing life in this world,” MP Mahmoud Sadeghi wrote on Twitter.
Globally, 80,000 people have since been infected by the virus while 2,700 have died.
Egypt and Algeria are the first countries in Africa to report cases of the disease.