Ethiopia Constricts Border, Airport Measures to Prevent Coronavirus


 Addis Abeba  (ENA) February  3/2020 Ethiopia is constricting its border and airport measures to prevent the entry of novel coronavirus to the country, Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) revealed. 
The Institute pointed out that though Ethiopia has no coronavirus positive case yet, the country intensified its preventative measures at Bole International Airport and 27 other border-checkpoints for thermal screening, preliminary surveillance, and testing of arrivals.

Briefing journalists today, Director General of the Institute, Dr. Ebba Ababte said so far it has screened 47, 162 travelers.

Ensuing the screening, four more people are investigating a suspected case of coronavirus and have been quarantined, Dr. Ebba said.

Three of the suspected cases were Ethiopian nationals and had been put into isolation centers at Bole Chefa in Addis Ababa and the town of Axum in Tigray Regional State.

According to the Director General, the fourth suspected case was a Chinese national.

The suspects will be staying and checked for about 14 days in isolation center, he indicated.

The quarantine centers have been expanded to 27 land routes and border areas of the country including the one Dire Dawa city airport and Ethio-Djbouti gayteway, he added.

Bole Chefa Medical Center, St. Paul Specialized Hospital, and Yeka- Kotebe Hospital have been selected to give treatment if the virus happens in the country.

Dealing with WHO and Africa CDC, Ethiopia is trying to have coronavirus testing laboratory.

Regarding the flight of Ethiopian Airlines to China, Dr. Eba, said that the total banning of flight to China will contravene to International Health Regulation 2005 and would aggravate the spread of the virus since the travelers will choose another gate ways to the country that will make difficult the surveillance and prevention of the virus.

The five cities that Ethiopia Airlines flies to China have very low coronavirus proportionality, he said adding that “but the flight will be revised by the respective officials in accordance with observing the magnitude of the disease in the cities.”

According to World Health Organization report, the coronavirus outbreak has killed about 362 people and sickened more than 17,373 across the globe and the virus spread out to 24 countries.