Surge in Severe COVID-19 Cases Raise Concern in Ethiopia


Addis Ababa February 17/2021 (ENA) The sudden increase in severe COVID-19 cases has raised grave concern in Intensive Care Unit management in Ethiopia, Ministry of Health disclosed.

According to the ministry, COVID-19 positivity rate and severe COVID-19 cases and deaths from the virus have suddenly increased in the past two days.

Briefing the media today, Health Communication Director Dr. Tegene Regassa said the sudden increase of severe cases has posed grave treatment concern for the country.

The number of severe cases that never exceeded 200 in a day has jumped over 300 in a day during the past two days alone, he added.

Noting that the country has not more than 500 mechanical ventilators, Dr. Tegene pointed out that accepting 615 patients with severe cases in two days is a matter of grave concern.

He revealed that the ministry is seeking additional support as the number of severe cases is beyond the capacity of its Intensive Care Unit.

Death rate is also increasing, the communication director said, adding that 29 patients have died from the virus in the past two days.

Moreover, out of 10,165 tests during the past two days 1,398 were positive. This is a 14 percent positivity rate, much higher in Ethiopia, and even the world, Dr. Tegene revealed.

Negligence of the public and limitations in strictly enforcing the prevention directive are among the factors causing increase in positivity rate.

Ethiopia has so far reported over 148,490 COVID-19 cases and more than 2,223 deaths.

There are 60 laboratories that test COVID-19 across the country.