By Staff Reporter
March 13, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Ethiopia has confirmed its first case of the deadly coronavirus on a Japanese citizen, the country’s ministry of health announced on Friday.
Health Minister Dr. Liya Tadesse told journalists that the 48-year old Japanese national tested positive for COVD19 in Addis Ababa. He had arrived in Ethiopia on March 4, 2020, from Burkina Faso.
The patient has been quarantined at Bole Chefa isolation center in Addis Ababa and is in good health condition, she said.
“Those who have been in contact with the person were traced and quarantined as well,” the minister added.
Ethiopia has already established a National Ministerial Committee to lead and support the COVID-19 preparedness and response effort.
According to the minister, another one, a US citizen, who had stayed in Ethiopia for four days and left for his country on March 9, 2020, also tested positive for the COVID-19.
Liya said it is not clear where the US citizen contracted the virus.
Liya advised the Ethiopian public to take proper care and preventive measures but avoid fear and panic which she said are as dangerous as the disease itself. She also advised to wash hands a lot and avoid contacts and gatherings.
“The positive case so far in the country should not let us lower our guard but should propel us to redouble our efforts to control the disease,” she said
The Minister went on to say that most people who were infected by the virus do get well soon after very little pain but elderly people with underlying illness may develop serious health problems due to the new infection.
Since the outbreak of the disease in china late in January this year, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute has been working a lot to detect and contain the disease as well as mitigate its impact if transmission occurs.
“By confirming the fact that the Ethiopian government is doing everything to contain the spread of the disease and reduce its impact, we the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and the Ethiopian Public heath institute urge our people not to panic but stay calm and do everything to stop the spread of the disease in our country,” the statement from the ministry of health reads.
The minister noted that the government has also allocated an additional budget for the prevention effort and is mobilizing more resources.
In Africa, cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in more than ten countries, including Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Well over 130 countries have so far confirmed the virus which has killed more than 5000 people worldwide.
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