Ethiopia Steps up Preparedness for Potential Coronavirus Outbreak

ADDIS ABEBA – Prime Minister of Ethiopia has set up a national ministerial committee that would lead country’s preparedness for a potential coronavirus outbreak.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet has set up the committee led by the ministry of health.

Members of the committee are Muferihat Kamil, Minister of Peace, Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance, Gedu Andargachew, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Dr. Lia Tadesse, State Minister of Health, the PM office said in a statement.

The committee would “to lead and support the COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts of the Multisectoral COVID19 National Task Force”, said State minister Dr. Lia.

The East African nation is among 13 African countries the World Health Organization (WHO) considers as top priority for COVID-19 readiness due to direct links or a high volume of travel to China.

Ethiopian Airlines is a major African airline gateway with the national flag carrier operating 34 flights a week to China.

Meanwhile, the Council of Ministers also discussed the disappointing outcome of the latest dam talk in Washington, which Ethiopia did not participate in.

It underlined that the negotiation on the dam will only be conducted with respect to the national interest and benefit of the country.

Any negotiation that harms the country’s national interest and sovereignty is not acceptable by the government of Ethiopia, it stressed.

The council also discussed the draft bill to approve a 65.33 million SDR loan agreement signed with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for lowlands livelihood improvement project.

After deliberation and small changes to it, the ministers referred the bill to the lower house of Ethiopian parliament for endorsement.

The Council also decided the langue development and use policy drafted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the pastoralist development policy prepared by the Ministry of Peace to enter into force.

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