ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has begun on Sunday a massive campaign that aims to test more than 200, 000 individuals for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the nation.
The campaign, Community Based Activities and Testing (COMBAT), is a month-long program with a target to help the government better control the COVID-19 pandemic, according to health officials.
The government of Ethiopia took COVID19 prevention measures early on and did well collectively, said Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed while launching the campaign on Saturday.
He said, starting early “may have led some to prevention fatigue” and “we are now witnessing a rapid spread that warrants we confront complacency”.
Reports show that, as of August 1, the country has recorded nearly 18, 000 patients.
The government sees increased testing as key to knowing the trend of COVID19 nationally “so as to enable effective decision making on various fronts”, according to Prime Minister Abiy.
According to government, the nation managed to prevent 85% of possible cases and 95% of deaths in comparison to the 1.5 million people originally expected to contract the virus by mid-July.
Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse said the newly launched campaign is a national mobilization to enable everyone to take preventive measures “responsibly and actively”.
Its program includes “wider nationwide testing to better understand the epidemic and determine measures to be taken”, she said.
To date, Ethiopia has conducted 429, 712 laboratory tests and reported 17,999 cases including 284 deaths.