ADDIS ABABA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said his government’s approach to contain COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia has paid dividends but needs the public’s active response to defeat the virus.
To date, Ethiopia has confirmed 2,156 including 27 deaths after 147, 735 tests.
Three zones have governed the governments’ responses to COVID19, Abiy said, describing them as fear, learning, and growth.
“We have chosen to the take the growth approach and build upon our existing capacities,” he said. “Expansion of our testing labs is one such example”.
The Prime Minister, while addressing parliamentarians, said the government has managed to increase the country’s capacity as part of its response to contain the spread of the virus.
The country had zero testing capacity when the first COVID-19 case was confirmed on March 13.
“We had to send samples to South Africa to confirm the first positive case,” he said.
That has now changed.
The country now has 31 laboratories with a daily testing capacity of over 7, 500 people per day, said the Prime Minister.
Their number is expected to increase to 54 laboratories which will increase the country’s daily testing capacity to 15,000 persons per day by the end of July, according to the prime minister.
The pandemic response also includes readying quarantine centers for passengers coming from abroad available.
These centers can now accommodate 45,000 people, he said, adding that the number of isolation centers for suspected cases has also reached 30,000.
The preparation also includes preparing about 54 COVID-19 health centers with the capacity to treat over 17,5000 patients.
“We are preparing ourselves to the worst-case scenario,” said Abiy who also defended the figures regarding the spread of the virus in the country.
“We don’t hide any single information from the public, it is not a virus brought by the government,” he said, “So we believe we have to create an informed society”.
He said it can’t be defeated by the government work alone. “The public has to follow public health advises which are key to curb the virus,” he said.
By Sisay Sahlu