Ethiopia: National Emergency Coordination Center Finalizing #COVID19 Multi-Sector Response As Cases in Ethiopia Rise to 52

Community health workers at a handwashing station at a healthcare center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, April 1, 2020.

The National Emergency Coordination Center (EEC) for COVID-19 response, in close consultation and partnership with the United Nations (UN) and other partners, is finalizing a COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Preparedness and Response Plan (MSPRP), The UN Said. This comes as the number of the latest patients who tested positive for COVID-19 in Ethiopia has risen to 52 as of today.

Eight more people, including a 9 months infant & his mother, tested positive for COVID-19. The latest number is out of 264 laboratory tests conducted in the last 24 hours and brings the confirmed COVID-19 positive numbers in Ethiopia to 52 as of the writing of this news.

#Ethiopia #NewsAlert: Eight more people, including a 9 months infant & his mother, tested positive for #COVID19. The number is out of 264 laboratory tests conducted in the 24 hrs. Today's announcement by @lia_tadesse brings the confirmed COVID-19 positive number to 52. via #ENA pic.twitter.com/a9pa3RITtQ

- Addis Standard (@addisstandard) April 7, 2020

According to the UN, the MSPRP takes a sector-specific approach to COVID-19, including identified COVID-19-related needs in the agriculture, education, shelter and non-food items, food, health, nutrition, protection, site management, water and sanitation, refugees, and cross-cutting coordination and management for three months.

This is in addition to the seven million people targeted in the 2020Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) at a cost of US$1 billion. "The plan recognizes that if the COVID-19 virus continues to spread in Ethiopia it will have far-reaching health, economic, social, and political impacts," the UN said. "The already overstretched healthcare system will not be able to cope with a high number ofCOVID-19 cases."

The UN expresses its concern that "due to lack of medical facilities, supplies, and access, patients infected with the virus might not be able to receive quality and timely treatment. At the same time, existing limited resources are likely to shift to the COVID-19 response, resulting in patients suffering from other diseases not being able to access the support they need. "

The ECC is established to coordinate the multi-sector response to the pandemic and similar coordination centers are established in all regions. The UN said all sector bureaus and humanitarian partners are supporting these coordination hubs.

The Ministry of Health said it was preparing to deploy health extension workers to conduct house-to-house health checkups in areas where COVID-19 is reported. The house-to-house is scheduled to begin as of next week. So far COVID-19 cases are reported in Addis Abeba; Adama and Dukem in Oromia; Bahir Dar and Addis Kidam in Amhara regional states, as well as in Dire Dawa city administration. Temesgen Ayehu, health extension program primary healthcare director with the ministry, told state daily EPA that people with immediate contacts with those who tested positive & those with symptoms will be assessed for checkups.

Two patients: a 60 years old Ethiopian woman and a 56 years old Ethiopian man have died of the virus on Sunday, April 05. AS

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