Ethiopia is one of East / Horn of Africa’s least impacted nations as compared to rate of COVID-19 case growth and infection of its neighbours.
A state of emergency lasting five-months has been imposed by the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed led government. All land borders have since been shut as a virus control measure with a raft of restrictions and enforcement of physical distancing and mask wearing measures.
Elections planned for May this year were also postponed citing the effect of the pandemic. Ethiopia played an instrumental role in the deployment of virus supplies donated by Chinese businessman Ali Baba. This article will focus on major developments coming from the country.
June 8: 2,070 cases, PM defends ‘no lockdown’
Ethiopia crossed the 2,000 mark on Sunday when 86 new cases took the tally to 2,020. The country joins the region’s top infected nations, now only behind Kenya, Djibouti and Somalia.
Today, PM Abiy addressed the new opening of parliament addressing a range of issues around the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among others, he defended the decision of the national flier, Ethiopian Airlines, to continue flights to many countries- including China.
He also spoke about not imposing lockdowns as a virus containment measure: “Impulsive measures [i.e. flight suspensions] have hurt many African countries [….]. It’s dangerous to introduce measures without realising [local] realities,” he told MPs.
Confirmed cases = 2,070
Deaths = 27
Recoveries = 344
Active cases = 1,647
Total tests = 142,960