Ethiopia Confirms 1, 982 new COVID-19 Cases, 24 Deaths

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has recorded at least 1, 982 new Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in the past 24 hours, pushing the national tally to 202, 545, ministry of health reported on Monday.

The country has tested nearly 8000 people during the period to confirm the latest positive cases.

A further 24 people have also died due to the respiratory disease across the country, the Ministry claimed in its daily COVID-19 report.

The latest figure has brought the national death toll to 2, 825.

The report said the rate of severe cases has gone below 800 during the 24-hours.

About 795 COVID-19 patients are now hospitalized after they become seriously ill, according to the ministry’s report that put the current national active case at 44, 528.

During the 24-period, health officials have registered at least 867 more recoveries, taking the national count to 155, 190.

Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation, has so far reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the East Africa region.

The recent hike in the number of cases has forced federal authorities to reenact the strict legal directive issued in Oct, last year, for the prevention and control of COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia.

The directive has a provision that slaps violators of public health guidelines up to three years imprisonment.

Failure to wear face masks in public, as well as to abide by other COVID-19 health precautions by the public, businesses, and other institutions, could cost people jail time.

A public gathering of more than 50 people has been banned as part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 as of Monday.

“Respective bodies will be strictly monitoring activities outlined in the directive to ensure enforcement, with the necessary action if breached,” said Dr. Lia Tadesse, Ethiopia’s Health Minister.

The east African nation is one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic in the continent but also conducted 2.34mln tests – a number considered as one of highest to be carried out in the continent.