Ethiopia set to conduct 200,000 coronavirus tests

By Sisay Woubeshet – The Government of Ethiopia is set to launch a campaign dubbed, “Manim”, and conduct 200,000 coronavirus tests in two weeks.

The Ministry of Health of Ethiopia aims to conduct 15,000 laboratory tests daily and reach 200,000 in two weeks’ time starting the 7th of August, according to Dr. Dereje Duguma, State Minister of Health. It is estimated that some 10,000 out of the 200,000 new tests will be coronavirus positive. The maximum laboratory tests Ethiopia has conducted per day was around 9,000.

“During the campaign period, we plan to provide medical treatment for some 10,000 people expected to be coronavirus positive within the two weeks testing,” he said speaking to the state broadcaster ETV. For its campaign the government has already imported one million testing kits. Currently across Ethiopia 46 coronavirus laboratory testing centers are functional with 59 laboratory machines. During the two weeks’ testing campaign time all the laboratories in the country are expected to fully utilize with full capacity – not less than 85 to 90 percent, according to State Minister Dr. Dereje.

He stated that the two weeks testing campaign will enable Ethiopia to properly understand the level of the pandemic and make the right policy decisions on the way forward in relation to issue such as, opening schools, etc. It will enable the country to assess how the measures taken by the government so far was successful in terms of tackling the spread of the pandemic, according to Dr. Dereje.

So far over 17,000 people are found COVID-19 positive in Ethiopia, out of which around 280 have died and some 10,000 are currently getting medical treatment.