Ethiopia’s Tigray Region Declares Coronavirus State of Emergency

 

Jijiga – Ethiopia’s northern Tigray regional state on Thursday, March 26, announced a region-wide state of emergency as a means of combating the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tigray Mass Media Agency said the decision was reached a day after the regional state council met and agreed on the decision which has implications on movement and on social activities.

Under the 15-day emergency rule: all travels within the state is banned. There is also a ban on social activities such as weddings and other festivities which could lead of large gatherings. Markets are also to be closed.

More details are expected to be released later. The federal government has closed all land borders as per the decision of an inter-ministerial COVID-19 committee led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

As at March 25, Ethiopia had confirmed 12 cases with all cases in the capital Addis Ababa. The figure is out of about 500 tests overall. It is woefully minimal as compared to South Africa’s over 15,000 tests that have turnd out 704 confirmed cases.

March 22: Ethiopia shuts land borders, impose more restrictions

Ethiopia will deploy the army to halt the movement of people along all borders, with the exception of incoming essential goods to the country, this is one of eight new measures being implemented by the federal government in the wake of the coronavirus spread.

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed on March 23 met with heads of the security sector for deliberations aimed at containment of the pandemic. The group he met today are the security sub-committee of the National Ministerial Committee.

Aside shutting land borders, a series of enforcement measures were announced relating to regulations on large gatherings and social distancing. Public transports are to avoid overcrowding whiles businesses will be checked in line with normal pricing of essentials.

Government offices have been tasked to employ adequate safety measures for employees whiles seeking home options for other employees. The security forces – army and police – are to undertake internal preparations for enforcement of the relevant rules.

March 20: Ethiopian suspends flights to 30 countries

State-affiliated FBC reports that Ethiopian airlines (Ethiopian) has suspended flights to 30 countries due to coronavirus (COVID-19), effective from Friday March 20.

At the beginning of the outbreak, Ethiopian maintained a decision to stick to its China route at a time most African airlines had suspended operations to and from the country. Ethiopia currently has nine confirmed cases and tests are being run on hundreds of suspected cases.