World, Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19: Somaliland releases 574 prisoners

Move comes one day after region confirmed 2 coronavirus cases

Mohammed Dhaysane   | 01.04.2020
COVID-19: Somaliland releases 574 prisoners

MOGADISHU, Somalia

The president of Somaliland, the breakaway region of the northwestern Somalia, has granted pardon to 574 prisoners on Wednesday, due to coronavirus outbreak.

In a presidential degree, Muse Bihi Abdi ordered the state attorney general starting from Wednesday to release 574 inmates through Somaliland territories.

"This is an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic and those who are due to release are nonthreatening and low crimes inmates," said a statement by the president's office of the region in Hargaisa.

On Tuesday, Somaliland said a Chinese citizen and a Somali national who traveled back from Britain have tested positive for the virus.

The region also closed all its land borders to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Somaliland is a former British protectorate in the northwestern Somalia, declared its independence from the rest of the Horn of African country.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China, in December, the virus, which causes COVID-19, has spread to at least 180 countries and regions, indicates the Johns Hopkins University database.

The data shows the confirmed number of cases worldwide has surpassed 874,000, with the death toll over 43,200, and more than 185,100 recoveries.

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