Door-to-door temperature screening launched in Ethiopia

Health workers and volunteers including 1,200 retired physicians participating in nationwide exercise

Addis Getachew Tadesse   |13.04.2020

Ethiopia launched on Monday a nationwide door-to-door temperature screening campaign to prevent and mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

The move came in the face of a potential acceleration of the virus in the country of 110 million people.

The Ministry of Health, earlier in the day, disclosed four new COVID-19 cases, raising the national total to 74 along with two deaths.

Many regional states have already begun conducting thermal body scanning using thermometer guns, according to the state-owned Ethiopian News Agency (ENA).

The ENA reported that the activity had been launched in 117 districts identified as vulnerable to the spread of the virus.

Government employed health workers and volunteers including 1,200 retired physicians were involved in the screening exercise, the ENA said.

Among adults, the average body temperature ranges from 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C). It was not mentioned if those having fever — a coronavirus symptom — will be tested or advised self-quarantine only.

Last week, Ethiopia declared a COVID-19 state of emergency that prohibits a gathering of more than four people for any purpose. One can visit night clubs and banks while wearing face masks, however. Schools, meanwhile, remain closed.

Authorities have decreed that social distancing must be observed by all and sundry.

Mayor of the capital Addis Ababa, Takele Uma, said he would not lock down the city due to its adverse economic impact.

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