Ethiopia Issues Directive Requiring People to Wear Face Masks

By Staff Reporter

Masks-requiredMay 28, 2020 ( -- The government of Ethiopia has issued a directive requiring people to wear face coverings anywhere outside homes to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Imposing a stricter measure to control the spread of the coronavirus was found to be mandatory as the spread of the pandemic surges, Attorney General Adanech Abiebie twitted after a ministerial meeting dwelling COVID-19 infections in the country.

Wearing face masks was not mandatory everywhere in Ethiopia, but strict rules had been enforced to cover mouth and nose in public, market, and transportation places where at least four people stand together.

So far, Ethiopia has reported 731 cases of COVID-19, with 6 deaths out of total test count of 91,616. Addis Ababa has become the epicenter of the pandemic with more than 75 percent of the total cases.

Lideta, Addis Ketema, and Bole sub-cities of the capital are highly affected areas. The government imposed lock-down and stay home orders against people living in locality 03 of the Lideta sub-city where the virus infected more than 100 people.

The office of Federal Attorney General in a statement said there are limitations from the public to abide by the directives issued by the government to stem the spread of the virus.

The office also announced the lifting of a rationing scheme introduced in Addis Ababa last month banning private vehicles with odd or even plate numbers from roads on alternate days.

According to the statement, public servants working hours have also been changed in the capital Addis Ababa to reduce overcrowding in public transport services.

Accordingly, entrance time is changed to 7:30 am from 8:30 am and exit time to 3:30 pm from 5:30 pm, the statement noted.

In order to limit movement of people, the Attorney General also announced new tariffs on cross-country bus transport services.

Hence, the tariffs for 45 and above seater buses increased by 75% from the initial price, while the tariffs for buses with carrying capacity of up to 45 people have doubled.

The directive said anyone who is found walking or staying anywhere without wearing a face covering will be punished by law.

The attorney general said the government will tighten control measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as the rates of cases in the last two weeks increased significantly.

The country’s daily testing capacity has seen increment over time and record 4, 352 laboratory tests were conducted on Wednesday. Currently, there are 26 COVID-19 testing laboratories across the country.

A total of 181 COVID-19 patients have recovered since the first case of the virus reported in the country on March 13, 2020.

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