Ethiopia Quarantines Coronavirus Suspects in Addis Ababa

By Staff Reporter

Liya-TadesseJanuary 28, 2020 ( -- Four Ethiopians have been quarantined at Addis Ababa Bole international airport on suspicions of contracting the coronavirus, Ethiopian health authorities have said

In a joint press conference by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and Public Health Institute, State Minister of Health Dr. Liya Tadesse said three of the suspects have traveled to Addis Ababa from Wuhan city of China where the virus first appeared.

So far more than 21,000 travelers have been checked against the Corona Virus using the thermal screening at Addis Ababa International Airport with a special focus on passengers who departed from China and other countries with reported cases of the virus.

One of the suspects was isolated due to high body temperature at the airport. The second suspect was quarantined after he was referred from a private clinic. He coughs now and then. The other two suspects have not shown any signs of illness but tracked and kept in isolation center at the airport because they had contacts with the second suspect.

According to the blood samples taken from the four suspects, all of them were reported negative or free from five types of coronavirus. Their blood samples were sent to South Africa for further investigation, the state minister has said.

Should the case be confirmed on any of the suspects, health officials will begin contact tracing to determine with what individuals they came in contact with.

Director-General of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Dr. Eba Abate said the institute is working with international organizations on importation of chemical which can detect the virus.

There is no vaccine or medicine that can cure the disease. There are also limitations in identifying the virus even in developed countries. Very recently, the American Center for Disease Control (CDC) has developed a new primer and we are trying to import those primers into Ethiopia.  

According to the director, the institute is following the health conditions of 280 people who come from China for two weeks.   

Chinese officials have said the virus likely originated from wild animals at a seafood market in the city but it has since spread to several countries around Asia and beyond.

Cases have also been confirmed in the US, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that the respiratory illness, which has been traced to the city of Wuhan, is an emergency in China but said it is too early to declare it a global health emergency.

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