The number of COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic patients in Ethiopia increased by three this morning, the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia said.
The report stated that all the three new patients are Ethiopian nationals. Two of the three patients had travel history to Dubai, while the other is reportedly returned from France, the Europe country severely hit by the pandemic. It is indicated that out of the three two are in critical condition. Now total number of coronavirus pandemic patients in Ethiopia has reached 25. Out of the total two foreign nationals have returned back to their countries and two other have recovered and left hospitals.
So far the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, which is the only COVID-19 testing institution in Ethiopia, has conducted a total of 1013 laboratory tests. Cities of the country including the capital, Addis Ababa, and Hawassa have sprayed disinfectants on the main streets. Companies such as banks have also been providing sanitation services to their clients such as, water with soup and sanitizers at their gates.
To contain the spread of the pandemic, the country has banned all meetings and partially blocked public transportation service providers. In addition to medical supplies Alibaba Group and Jack Ma Foundation of China have donated, the Government of Ethiopia has also announced recently allocating some 5 billion birr (about 153 million at the current exchange rate) to prepare the country for the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Over the weekend, Ethiopian Airlines has also announced suspending flights to 80 international destinations.
Even though the government has been advising the public to exercise social distancing and avoid contacts, many market places remain over crowded as usual in cities like Addis Ababa. Now Addis Ababa Police is engaged with the traders in major markets to execute social distancing and provide sanitation facilities to their customers. Officials at the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia including the Minister Dr. Liya Tadesse, have also been teaching the public on the streets using police vehicles in Addis Ababa City.
Reports show that in Africa the number of people who lost their lives dies to coronavirus pandemic is only a few dozen while the total number of people infected is also not more than a few thousands. As many of African countries have low capacity to test COVID-19 pandemic, the number of patients the countries are confirming is somehow low compared to other parts of the world. Experiences of other countries suggest that the number of confirmed patients is likely to increase as these countries begin testing thousands of people daily.
Globally so far COVID-19 has killed about 37,800 people, infecting close to 788,500 individuals.