Ethiopia: Safety Is Like a Lock - but You Are the Key

Ethiopia has managed to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic encouragingly and lessening its severe consequences. Owing to the coordinated efforts of the government, partners, and the public, the country has enabled to execute meaningful activities that are decisive in averting the challenges.

Ranging from sensitizing the importance of applying COVID-19 pandemic precaution measures and enforcing them to exercise the rules accordingly to inoculating citizens at different levels, it has made every effort to minimize the spread of the pandemic. As a result, encouraging progresses were seen.

However, these days the number of people infected by the pandemic is increasing from time to time differently from the previous three weeks. This, according to professionals, can signify the incidence of the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute has also confirmed as the signs that indicate the occurrences of the third wave of the pandemic are observed in the country.

As the Institute posted on its page, as various documents and studies have shown, the third round of the COVID-19 pandemic has occurred in various countries across the world. The COVID-19 Delta virus is mentioned as the reason for the third wave occurrence.

In Ethiopia, even though there is no any evidence for the occurrences of COVID-19 Delta, there are appearances that signify the incidences of the third-round wave.

For instance, the number of people who had been infected by the pandemic was decreasing steadily and the reports that show the case was too low. In the past two months, among hundred people who tested for the pandemic, only one or two were detected COVID-19 virus positive. However, for the past three weeks, the report is increasing alarmingly. On July 29, 2021 merely 476 individuals have been tested positive and it was the highest number registered since the second round of COVID-19 pandemic ended.

On the other way, three weeks back, the number of people who were in Intensive Care Unit was on average 124. However, on this same date (July 29, 2021), it folded by two and reached 228.

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute and Ethiopian Ministry of Health in collaboration with partner organizations, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, as well as involving the communities have been taking number of COVID-19 disease preventive measures and controlling activities before the pandemic detected in the country, and in its all phases. The institutes have been striving to restrain the spread of the virus since the onset of the pandemic through devising various preparedness and response mechanisms, instituting coordinating committees and effecting preventive and controlling measures.

Mentioning the negligence observed among the people at the end of the second wave with regard to the proper application of COVID-19 precaution measures, the Institute has revealed that signs which signify the possible happening of the third wave are detected. Thus, every individual, family, all governmental and nongovernmental organizations, religious institutions and civic associations, service rendering organizations, health professionals, teachers and other stakeholders should apply the precautions measures-get vaccinated and act accordingly in more responsible and ownership manner to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Institute urged.

In an exclusive interview with EPA, Dr. Yared Agedew, General Director of Eka Kotebe General Hospital on his part said that the negligence observed nationwide can make the efforts made to avert the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic more challenging.

The pandemic had shown significant diminution in the past two months, mainly in May and June. However, currently it is expanding more rapidly.

In various countries, the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is witnessed owing to Delta Virus. In the case of Ethiopia though the number of people infected by the pandemic is getting increase and could be an indication to predict the occurrences of the third wave, at this point of time it is not possible to say specifically that the pandemic has erupted.

It is impossible to say that the communities are unaware of how to protect themselves from COVID-19 pandemic. However, following the recklessness and negligence

they are showing, it would not be easy to avert the threat of the third wave that is likely to be seen so soon.

Delta Virus, contrary to the other variants of the pandemic, is a fast-surging and more life threatening type. Thus, the communities should be alert enough and apply the necessary precautions measures seriously to protect themselves from this deadly virus, he warned.

As to him, Eka General Hospital ICU is currently populated with COVID-19 patients who are aided by machine and of which close to 25 are in Intensive Care Units.

The Hospital has over 600 beds. However, since the past two weeks, the number of people coming to the Hospital due to the case of the pandemic has escalated. Unfortunately, out of the total cases coming to the Hospital, one fourth of the patients require machine assisted treatment and care. And currently the Hospital has reached a level it cannot receive additional patients with critical cases, he added.

According to Ministry's and Institute's daily report, as of August 3, 2021, while a total of 3,034, 839 people have been tested for COVID-19 pandemic, 281,300 have been confirmed positive. 263,885 individuals recover from the COVID-19 virus and 4,395 individuals lost their lives due to the pandemic. 2,227, 813 individuals have also got vaccinated.

As the saying goes, "Safety is like a lock; but you are the key", the possibility to avert the undesirable consequences of the pandemic or the other way round is in our hands. Thus, understanding the devastative effects it brings about on ourselves and the people who are in our circles even beyond, we should care all the more.

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