Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency due to COVID-19

By Staff Reporter

Ethiopia-State-of-EmergencyApril 8, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Ethiopia has declared a five-month state of emergency in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus effective Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in a statement announced the state of emergency under Article 93 of the constitution as the pandemic is getting worse in the country.

"I call upon everyone to stand by the side of the government but any actions that will undermine the fight against the pandemic will be met with grave legal actions," he said

The premier said the government will take even tougher measures in a bid to rescue the current generation from the pandemic.

The government of Ethiopia had already taken mitigation measures in response to the outbreak, including closing schools, banning public gatherings and ordering public servants to stay and deliver tasks at home.

In a statement, the federal attorney general later said the emergency law will be implemented all over the country.

The office of the federal attorney general did not give detailed information on human rights restrictions that will be imposed during the implementation of the emergency law but said the restrictions will be imposed considering the prevailing situations.

The office ordered citizens to implement instructions of law enforcement bodies or legal entity as the emergency law is enforced.  

Following the declaration of coronavirus a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), about 70 countries have declared a state of emergency to halt the spread and protect their people from the virus, it said.

The emergency law allows federal and regional law enforcement institutions to take proportional measures on those individuals who will breach the restrictions.

The emergency law comes as the outbreak cannot be handled with the country’s normal health care system and the considering the human, social and economic damage the virus can cause, the office has said

Meanwhile, the country’s minister of health Dr. Liya Tadesse said three new cases of coronavirus (COVID19) were confirmed over the past 24 hours and this brings the total COVID19 cases in Ethiopia to 55.

All the three confirmed cases are Ethiopian nationals, according to the minister.

Two of the confirmed cases have travel history abroad and the other patients are a resident of Awi zone, in Amhara regional state.

According to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, more than 1.4 million cases of coronavirus have been registered globally.

More than 82,000 people have died and more than 300,000 have recovered from the virus.

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