Ethiopia to launch 6-month COVID-19 prevention campaign

A medical worker collects a swab sample from a mother for COVID-19 tests at a hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

Ethiopia Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) on Friday announced plans to launch a six-month campaign focusing on prevention of COVID-19 pandemic.

The six-month campaign which will start on Monday aims to prevent transmission of COVID-19 cases in educational institutions, service institutions, bus stations, market places, religious institutions and public spaces, reported state affiliated media outlet Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC).

FBC reported members of the Ethiopian federal parliament will participate in the six-month-long campaign, which will include a drive to boost the waning interest in wearing a face mask.

Ethiopia confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 13. The east African country confirmed its first COVID-19 related death on April 15.

Ethiopia has as of Friday morning recorded 127,227 COVID-19 cases and 1,966 COVID-19 related deaths. Ethiopia is the fifth most affected country in the African continent, surpassed by South Africa, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia.

A week after Ethiopia announced the first case of COVID-19, the country introduced stringent measures that included closing schools, limiting religious gatherings, postponing large gatherings and sporting events, as well as punishing businesses for unnecessary price-hike on consumer goods so as to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Ethiopia also declared a state of emergency last April to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. It loosened the preventive measures in early October as the state of emergency rule expired.

The Ethiopian government is recently advising the public to adhere to the recommended safety measures so as to contain the possible second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.