Ethiopia police said it has arrested 1,305 people in the capital, Addis Ababa, for not wearing face masks in public places and exposing themselves and others to coronavirus pandemic.
The state of emergency Ethiopia has declared about a month ago to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) states that people have to wear facemasks in crowded public places and while using services such as, banks and the like. Some of those arrested were for not wearing face masks were having face masks in their pockets, according the public relations of Addis Ababa Police Commission, who spoke on Ethio FM this afternoon.
“Police should immediately stop arbitrary arrests and release those detained,” said Chief of Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, reacting immediately to the mass arrest. “Covering nose and mouth are recommended health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the public needs to follow these critical health directives. Indeed, the Emergency Regulations impose an obligation to wear face covering in public service areas such as markets, shops, transport services or other public spaces with large number of people where social distancing is not possible.,” said Dr. Daniel Bekele, Chief Commissioner of Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.
“Otherwise, arbitrary arrest of people on the streets is outside the regulation, disproportionate and counter-productive measure which should stop immediately and all those detained should be released Immediately,” he said.
Including two new cases the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ethiopia so far is 263. Out of the total 106 have recovered while five have dies.