Ethiopia to start house-to-house screening for COVID 19

Addis Ababa city and Tigray regional state of Ethiopia are starting house-to-house screening for COVID 19 next week

house-to-house screening _ COVID 19 test
Addis Ababa City Mayor, Takele Uma

April 11, 2020

In the latest strings of response measures to prevent the spread of COVID 19, house-to-house screening for COVID 19 is set to launch in the capital Addis Ababa. 

Acting Mayor Takele Uma said on Saturday that the program would start as early as next week. 

With 1200 health professionals, the plan is to cover all localities while emphasizing more vulnerable communities in the City.  The administration in the City has called on retired health professionals to join the campaign. 

Reports from the ministry of Health indicate that some of the confirmed COVID 19 patients in the country do not have a travel history or exposure to infected persons. The City has an estimated population of about five million people, majority of whom are below the poverty line and multiples of slum neighborhoods – areas where it is difficult to practice social distancing and other preventive measures. Government has started to give out hand sanitizers but it is known that some places in the city do have shortages of water supplies.  

Another important initiative that Addis Ababa City Administration announced, in response to those whose economic situation could be impacted severely, is a food bank. The Mayor said 1200 centers are organized across the City. All localities in the City will have at least one. 

Government-led campaigns in the past couple of weeks encouraged staying home and social distancing measures in the capital Addis Ababa and the rest of the country, the result of which is not so encouraging as people fail to implement those measures. This week, the Federal government introduced a state of emergency to which the House of Peoples Representatives noded. 


In a similar development, the Tigray regional state is launching house-to-house testing in all towns and districts, according to the Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) report, on Saturday. 

Authorities in the region say they have as many as 23000 health professionals ready to take part in the program, which is commencing on Monday. So far, the region did not report a single COVID 19 confirmed case, unlike the cases of Oromo and Amhara regional states of Ethiopia. 

According to the region’s Health Office head, Dr. Hagos Godefay, said, as cited by FBC, the plan is to cover 15 to 20 households a day in rural areas and 25 to 30 houses in urban centers.  On Thursday, the regional government extended emergency measures for three months. 

A total of 69 Coronavirus patients have been reported in Ethiopia until April 11 – of which ten have recovered from it. And three patients died from it. 

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