Ethiopia Reports 137 New COVID-19 Cases; One Death

ADDIS ABEBA – For the second day in a row, Ethiopia has reported a record spike in the number of coronavirus cases.

Ethiopia’s health ministry reported 137 infections on Friday as the total cases confirmed so far nears 1000. The country reported 100 cases on Thursday.

Over the past twenty-four, 5015 people tested for COVID-19, a deadly respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus. Up to 137 of tested positive for the virus, says the ministry, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 868.

Most of the tests conducted in high risk-community members, returnees and health facility visitors, and more.

One patient dies

The ministry also reported one coronavirus case-related death today.

A 62-year-old male patient, who was being treated for another chronic medical condition, tested positive for the virus.

The patient passed away “before results confirmed that he was positive for COVID-19”, the ministry said in today’s report. The death toll currently stands at 8.

The majority of cases in Ethiopia are concentrated in Addis Ababa. Out of today’s confirmed cases alone, 109 patients are identified in the capital.

The others are from Amhara (17), Oromia (8), Benishangul-Gumuz (2) and Afar (1) regional states.

Community transmission

The ministry also reported that among the newly identified cases today, 20 have a travel history from abroad and 8 others have contact with known confirmed cases.

The remaining 109 patients have no travel history from abroad as well as no prior contact with known confirmed cases – which shows the increasing level of community transmission of the new coronavirus in Ethiopia.

The trend has become worrying for health workers.

“We are beginning to see sustained community transmission within Ethiopia and many other countries across Africa. That means we need to increase our public health measures like distancing, wearing of masks, washing of hands,” said John Nkengasong, AU Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.

He advised countries like Ethiopia to modify the way they test their population.

Instead of focusing on testing people arriving at airports, governments should switch to surveillance testing of those with flu-like symptoms, according to the head of the AU CDC.

Health officials in Ethiopia also reported the recovery of six patients on Friday, taking the total case to 197.

Image: Medical workers at COVID-19 treatment center [Photo File]