Ethiopia declares state of emergency to curb spread of COVID-19

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ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - (ARCHIVE) : A file photo dated March 12, 2019 shows Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaking during a joint press conference held with French President Emmanuel Macron (not seen) following their meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. (Photo by Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaq/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA – (ARCHIVE) : A file photo dated March 12, 2019 shows Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaking during a joint press conference held with French President Emmanuel Macron (not seen) following their meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. (Photo by Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaq/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the country to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus, his office said on Twitter.

“Considering the gravity of the #COVID19, the government of Ethiopia has enacted a State of Emergency,” Abiy’s office said.

Africa’s second most populous nation at more than 110 million, Ethiopia has recorded 52 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and two deaths.

Authorities have already taken a series of measures to stem the spread including closing schools, banning public gatherings and requiring most employees to work from home.

The prime minister did not mention what additional steps would be taken under the state of emergency.

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