Health Officials Endorse the Need for SoE to Stem COVID-19 Pandemic


ENA May 21/2020 Health officials confirmed the validity of the state of emergency in place to stem the spread of COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Health officials briefing the third public discussion led by Council of Constitutional Inquiry (CCI) on Thursday said the COVID-19 pandemic has transcended from imported cases to “the community transmission” and the state of emergency in place is necessary to stem its spread.

Health Minister, Dr. Lia Tadesse, informed the CCI that the coronavirus transmission is getting worse in Ethiopia and prevention measures need to be strictly enforced.

“We believe the imposed state of emergency is necessary to enforce adherence to the prevention measures of COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

The minister noted that the declared state of emergency helps stem the transmission of the virus and opens an opportunity to swiftly build the health system and trace infected persons though infections and deaths increase like in other hard-hit countries.

Ethiopian Public Health Institute Director-General, Dr. Ebba Abate on his part said although the coronavirus arrived lately in Africa with some opportunities, “close to 100,000 people have infected and about 3000 died.”

According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic has transcended into “community transmission” recently and its grave threats are observable.

Ethiopia’s exposure to the pandemic is increasing alongside with the limited health services capacity among the vulnerable communities. “So, our only solution is aggressive prevention,” as he highlighted the need for the state of emergency.

“We have confirmed 389 coronavirus positive cases in Ethiopia,” Ebba said, adding that “but this number couldn’t show the exact implication as we have to see the epidemiological issues”.

He further stated “we have been working the preparedness on entry points focusing on infected countries and possible contacts, however, more than 15 percent of the COVID-19 patients reported yesterday have no travel history and contact.”

There are 26 laboratories undertaking COVID-19 tests across the country.