ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian government has introduced today new driving restrictions to discourage unnecessary travel as part of country’s COVID-19 response.
Ethiopia has reported 92 confirmed cases of COVID-29 – a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus.
The country of about 110 million people is introducing tighter regulations including banning of large gatherings and closed schools, among others, to combat the spread of the virus.
Today, the Federal Ministry of Transport has issued a directive that limits the use of a private car, reduces the mumber of passengers in a car and readjusts service fee for cross country public busses, among others.
The directive was prepared based on the state of emergency declared by the council of ministers last week, says the ministry.
Private cars with code 2 plate number should be used through a rotation system as per the latest directive.
The system will be implemented based on the last number of the registration plate, where odd and even numbers will only be allowed on the road on alternate days, according to the ministry’s directive.
The restriction, however, will not apply to car owners that are actively involved with the implementation of the state of emergency or those directly involved in the effort to stop the virus.
Both private and government cars will only use 50 percent of their passenger capacity.
Authorities have also limited the number of cross-country busses going out of Addis Ababa to 82 per day, and passengers will be required to fill up a form for follow up purpose.
The Ministry of Transport allowed for cross-country public transports services across the country on Thursday after almost all regional states have banned public transport services to and from their respective regions as measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19.
Oromia, Amhara, SNNP, Tigray, Afar regional states as well as Dire Dawa City Administration were among the major regional states that have closed their borders banning cross-country public transport vehicles.
The ministry adopted six different measures to be followed by the service providing companies as conditions which it said will help prevent the spread of the virus before allowing the service to restart.
Image: Addis Ababa city [Photo File/Charlie Rosser]