COVID-19: Ethiopia closes schools, bans public events

Ethiopia on Monday closed schools across the country and banned all public gatherings, including sports events, for 15 days.

The decision was announced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after consultations with top officials on measures to avert a COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

In a televised message, the premier said the steps were necessary after four new cases were confirmed in Ethiopia over the past 24 hours, raising the total to five.

Among the new cases are two Japanese and an Ethiopian national who had been in contact with the country’s first patient, a 48-year-old Japanese citizen.

The fourth case was an Ethiopian man who recently returned from Dubai.

Ahmed said his government was making efforts to provide protective face masks, medical kits, and disinfectants, including sanitizers, for the public.

He announced that government vehicles would be used for public transport to ease the burden on the existing system.

With only primary and secondary schools being closed for now, Abiy said that university students would be provided all essential care at their respective campuses.

After emerging in Wuhan, China, last December, the coronavirus has now spread to at least 146 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The global death toll is nearly 6,500, with around 165,000 confirmed cases.

While the WHO recently declared the global outbreak a pandemic, its head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the situation was controllable.

In his remarks at a March 3 briefing on COVID-19, Tedros also pointed out that the mortality rate from the virus was around 3.4%.



  1. Kudos also to H.E. Chief Justice Meaza bint Ashenafi and General Adem bin Mohammed for being so proactive to wrest the spread of this deadly pandemic. I wish them all the best in this life or death effort. As repeatedly told by scientists and medical experts this deadly virus does not play games. It is here to wipe humanity out of this good earth. These two concerned high level officials are heeding the experts and all of us should do the same. The experts cannot say it enough: wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 preferably 30 seconds and DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE WITH YOUR UNWASHED HANDS OR FINGERS. If you feel under the weather isolate yourself and get tested for the virus. Listen to what your local officials are advising/telling everyone in your county. Watch the major media networks for the latest news regarding the pandemic. Heed, heed, and heed the experts!!!! And look after the elderly and those in need. And couple this with prayers!!! Throw yourselves at the feet of the Almighty and pray for mercy!!!! We will come out these united! Insha’Allah!!!!


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