Ethiopian Police Warns of Stringent Measures Against Violators of State of Emergency

By Staff Reporter

Ethiopian-federal-policeApril 15, 2020 ( -- The Ethiopian police have warned that they would take stringent measures against people violating the current state of emergency to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

After a month-long urging from the government that citizens should keep apart to halt the spread of the coronavirus, many people, particularly in religious, market and transportation places, are doing otherwise, said Endeshaw Tassew, the commissioner-general of the federal police in a briefing.

"People are playing loose with the rules and that will actually put the public’s health at risk," the commissioner-general said. "It makes the government take more and more stringent measures to help the emergency rules are respected.”

Endesahw did not mention the penalty the violators will face, but according to the constitution, police will have the right to detain people suspected of violating "the emergency law" and put them in quarantine centers.

“Police would carry out surveillance and will take proportional measures on violators without any preconditions, he said.

According to the commissioner-general, the federal, regional and special security forces, which are put under one command, are instructed to take legal action without any preconditions.

The government of Ethiopia has closed borders, suspended over 90 percent of international flights, orders employees to work from home and closed schools, churches, mosques, recreational places, etc to help stem the spread of the virus in the country.

Similarly, punitive measure will be taken on those people, organizations and media houses which are involving in the dissemination of fake news and information that undermines the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus, Endeshaw added.

Ethiopia’s new state emergency prohibits handshakes, gatherings of four or more people, sporting events and vehicles carrying more than 50% of their capacity.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recently said it is impossible to limit the movement of people and insist them stay home as significant numbers of Ethiopians make their living from daily earnings.

All the necessary preparations are in place to help decrees in the state of emergency are respected, he said.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia reported three more coronavirus cases out of the 431 samples tested over the past 24 hours.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 85.

All three confirmed cases are Ethiopian nationals, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.

All the three confirmed cases are Ethiopian nationals, only one of them had a travel history to the US, the ministry said

The other two had exposure to patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases, it added.

Ethiopia has so far registered three deaths and 14 recoveries from the virus.

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