Ethiopia Start Screening Travelers from Italy, Japan, S.Korea for COVID-19

ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopian health officials have started to screen travelers from four more nations, in addition to China, as of last week.

All travelers entering Addis Abeba from the virus hotspots of South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy are being screened, said Dr. Ebba Abate, general director of Ethiopian public health institute, during a regular press briefing on Tuesday.

The virus has already been spread out in these countries and that’s why we put the additional screening protocol in place at the airport,” Dr. Ebba said.

The government has publicly put in place strict screening at points of entry including at Addis Abeba Bole International Airports and have recorded suspected cases.

More than 21, 750 passengers have so far been screened at the airport airline. Of these, more than 500 have travel history with counties that have reported cases of COVID-19.

Over the past five days, Dr. Ebba said there were three suspected cases in the isolation center.
They have been released from the center after their results lab examination proved their test negative, he added.

Currently, the general director of the institute said there are neither suspected cases in isolation centers nor confirmed in the country.

The government has stepped up its readiness last week with a formation of a high-level committee to lead the preparedness for a possible breakout of the virus.

– By Mhret G/Kristos