ADDIS ABEBA – The government of Ethiopia has imposed wide-ranging and strict measures in order to prevent the spread of the noble coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
The East African nation has so far confirmed nine cases of coronavirus. Prime minister Abiy Ahmed said additional restrictions have to be put in place to protect citizens from the virus.
Accordingly, he said that all passengers traveling to Ethiopia would be put in isolation for two weeks “in designated hotels at their own personal cost”.
The move came after the COVID19 National Ministerial Committee met with Abiy today in a bid to follow up in their previous meeting where key measures had been imposed nationally.
Today’s meeting also came up with additional restrictions which also includes suspending flight operations of Ethiopian Airlines to 30 countries in the interim.
Other resolutions passed in the meeting include:
– encouraging religious institutions to stop gatherings and undertake worship through other means in order to limit contact and halt the spread of COVID19.
– expanding and utilizing other holding spaces in order to avoid overcrowding in correctional facilities. New prisoners will be tested for COVID-19 before confinement to correctional facilities and prisoners with minor offenses and release dates that are near will be released from imprisonment.
– Strongly warns harassment of foreign nationals and advises the public saying that the virus does not discriminate and therefore undertake prevention measures per the Ministry of Health Guidelines rather than assign blame and ostracize foreign nationals.
– Advises volunteers, who have been undertaking commendable coordination tasks over the past few days, to also adhere to self-protection and prevention protocols while continuing to undertake voluntary tasks.
– extends gratitude to medical professionals that are doing critical lifesaving work without sufficient materials, and calls upon all medical professionals, including those in training, to be ready for the call of national duty.
– Announces the first shipment of testing kits, masks and guidelines contributed by Jack Ma through Alibaba will arrive on Sunday. In this regard, the committee is working on the distribution within the country as well as the intended African countries.
– Announces that night clubs and bars will cease their operations temporarily as part of prevention and containment measures.
– Warns that action will be taken against individuals and businesses that are exploiting the health situation and profiting from the above-market sell of consumer goods.
– Advises regions that are already undertaking preparations to elevate their preparedness with the support of the Federal government in the provision of preventative materials.
Image: Abiy met with COVID19 National Ministerial Committee today [Photo PM Office]