Ethiopia confirmed three more Coronavirus patients over the past 24 hours. Two of the patients had no travel history or exposure to COVID 19 patients
April 13, 2020
The number of Coronavirus patients continues to grow in Ethiopia, although the increases are not exponential at this point.
The Ministry of Health announced that 247 individuals were tested for the virus over the past twenty-four hours. Three of them have tested positive for COVID-19.
What should be noted about these patients is that all of them do not have a travel history. So far, the majority of the cases with confirmed COVID-19 virus are those with travel history(mainly to the United Arab Emirates).
According to the Ministry of Health, all the patients are Ethiopians and residents of Addis Ababa. Worrisome is that only one of the patients had exposure to COVID 19 infected persons.
The remaining two patients do not have contact or exposure to someone infected with the virus. Two are men (40 and 72), and one patient is identified as 23 years female. It is unclear from the Ministry of Health if persons with contact or exposure history to these patients are traced and quarantined.
As of April 13, the total number of Coronavirus confirmed cases are 74, but only 4,110 people have been tested in the country.
The Ministry of Health also announced on Monday that four more people have recovered from the virus, which makes the total number of recovery cases to 14.
So far, only three people died from the disease.
With the Easter celebration for Ethiopian Church around the corner, the Ministry of Health warns that grocery shopping for a holiday should be carried out with caution by observing all preventive measures. It also advised the public to avoid visits and get-togethers.
As cited above, the number of tested people in the country is much less than 5000, but the number of infected people is increasing daily.
Based on information from the Ministry of Health, now there are cases of COVID 19 with no travel history and with no history of stay in isolation centers. That suggests the latest confirmed cases were out and about. As a poor country, the lifestyle of many Ethiopians in the country is one that could hasten the rate of transmission of contagious diseases, especially in cities like Addis Ababa.
Last week, Addis Ababa City Administration announced that it would start house-to-house screening for possible COVID 19 patients, but the city has only 1200 health workers for the program in a city of 5 million people.
The government declared a state of emergency last week to enforce COVID 19 prevention measures, especially social distancing aggressively, and stay at homes. The state of emergency bypass restrictions on human rights and has made it a criminal offense to endanger others by not practicing recommended prevention measures. Social gathering is banned for social or religious reasons. A gathering of more than 4 people is banned.
The house-to-house screening combined with an aggressive stay at home and social distancing could help arrest the rate of infection, but it remains to be seen if the government is practicing them strictly.
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