Ethiopia Closes Borders to Control COVID-19

By Staff Reporter

Ethiopia-BorderMarch 23, 2020 ( -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced the closure of borders prohibiting humans crossing into the country as measure to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The premier directed the National Defence Forces to halt the movement of people along all borders, with the exception of incoming essential goods to the country.

In a live broadcast on Monday, the premier said several people have failed to maintain the recommended social distance between one person to another particularly in churches, transportation services and public places across the country.

Abiy said members of the national defense forces and federal police will begin to reinforce measures taken by the government to cease large gatherings and maintain social distancing.

He called on government institutions, including political parties, to adhere to social distancing and preventive measures when convening meetings.

The Prime Minister further urged government institutions to facilitate delivering service from homes and public transport to monitor and avoid overcrowding.

He called on public transporters to cease overcrowding, which will be monitored and enforced by traffic police and volunteers.

The premier added that the National Defense Forces and Police to boost readiness to undertake preventative tasks nationally.

Over the past week, the government has shut down thousands of businesses that were found to make excessive profits from consumer and sanitation products.

The premier said that the government will take continuous measures against those businesses involved in increasing prices on consumer goods illegally.

He further advised the media to play a critical role with a special focus of raising prevention awareness at all levels rather than spreading fear and panic among the public.

The premier also announced the establishments of quarantine centers in all regions with the desired medical professionals and equipment to hold back hasten spread.

Abiy disclosed the Federal government has availed 5 billion Ethiopian birr to undertake #COVID-19 preparedness tasks.

In a related development, Liya Tadesse Ethiopian Minister of Health said out of the 11 people who were diagnosed to be positive for the COVID-19 in Ethiopia, two Japanese citizens have left for their country.

Considering the fast rate of spread globally and the increasing positive cases confirmed in Ethiopia, various sub-committees of the National Ministerial Committee have been formed, including a security sub-committee.

Unless the World Bank and United Nations allocated at least $100 billion as part of an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Africa, the pandemic could be disaster across the continent, the premier warns.

So far more than 30 African countries have reported the virus in their respective countries with more than 200 cases in Egypt.

Ethiopia has suspended more than 30 international commercial flights and banned bar and night club services as part of its effort to contain the virus.

Passengers arriving in Ethiopia will be subject to 14-day quarantine at designated locations at their expenses.

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