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The Somali government has confirmed that it has sent 20 doctors to Italy to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) amid a surge in deaths.

Government Spokesman Ismail Mukhtar Omar said the doctors are volunteers from the Somali National University, who have been in some European countries.

“The 20 doctors have already been registered in Italy and are expected to team up with doctors from across the world to help Italy contain the coronavirus,” Mr Omar said.

He said the doctors have been sent as part of the emergency response team following an appeal from the Italian government for international help to contain the virus.

Somalia, which has so far confirmed three cases of Covid-19, has banned all international flights as well as domestic ones as part of measures to contain the spread of the deadly virus in the country.

Meanwhile, South Africa has seen a growing number of health workers infected with Covid-19, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Saturday.

As of Saturday night, the country had reported 1,187 cases, an increase of 17 in 24 hours, the minister said, adding that 13 of the new patients were health workers.

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