Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has declared a state of emergency in the country to contain the spread of coronavirus. "Considering the gravity of the #COVID19, the government of Ethiopia has enacted a State of Emergency," Abiy's office said.
Ethiopia has recorded 52 confirmed Covid-19 cases and two deaths so far. Ethiopia announced its first two deaths on April 5, the first victim a 60 year-old woman. The Health Ministry stated that she was in intensive care for six days. The other victim was a 56 year-old man who was diagnosed with coronavirus on April 2.
The country conducted 264 tests in one day on April 7 and has carried out more than 1,222 tests so far. Four patients have recovered and one is in critical condition. Dr Adisu Kebede, director of national laboratory capacity building, said the country has only 23,000 testing kits, most of which were donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma last month.
Ethiopia deploys women to educate rural areas about coronavirus
According to Reuters, Ethiopia is deploying women in remote villages for educating people about maintaining hygiene. They are also trying to discover new cases and eliminating myths about Covid-19 from the minds of villagers. The most sensitive part of their job is to deal with religious leaders. It is deemed difficult to eliminate myths in countries where traditional beliefs control many aspects of life.
Teams of these women consist of newly graduated students and mothers having experience teaching families reproductive health. Thousands of women are being trained to educate people on how to identify the symptoms and trace people with whom they had contacts.
It will be difficult to contain the spread of the virus in a nation of 105 million people where only few have access to doctors and hospitals, said Temesgen Ayehu from the health ministry of Ethiopia. The country has shut its borders and schools. Citizens are being encouraged to pray at home instead of gathering in churches, mosques or temples.
The African Union has recorded more than 10,500 cases with around 535 deaths in its 55 member states due to coronavirus.