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COVID-19 – Press release of March 16, 2020 by the National Ministerial Committee on Coronavirus

The #COVID19 National Ministerial Committee met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed this morning to follow up on their March 12th meeting to assess development with the spread and containment of the virus. Following in-depth discussions and considering Ethiopia’s current situation and assessed economic impact, the committee have decided the following measures to be undertaken for the next two weeks, subject to further assessments:

  1. Large gatherings and meetings to be postponed including sporting events. Small gatherings to not be undertaken without consulting the Ministry of Health.
  2. With the exception of higher learning institutions, all schools to be closed. The Ministry of Science and Higher Learning will be delivering course content online with students remaining in university campuses and their dorms.
  3. Religious institutions and places of worship to limit gatherings.
  4. A national hygiene and preventive measures movement to be launched and cascaded throughout government institutions with uptake in non-government institutions and the public.
  5. Government to allocate budget for the distribution of masks, soap, alcohol solutions and other preventive materials in critical locations.
  6. Government buses to be availed free of charge to the public to limit overcrowding in the public transport system. Buses allocated to transport civil servants will be available as of 8am after transporting civil servants to their places of employment. Private transporters are also asked to follow suit.
  7. Ministry of Trade and Industry to monitor and act against businesses unnecessarily increasing prices on consumer goods.
  8. Preventive measures to be undertaken in elderly care facilities with close monitoring by the Ministry of Health. Visits to such facilities to be limited.
  9. Volunteers are asked to support in raising prevention awareness.
  10. Media institutions to deliver accurate information to the public.

The Prime Minister calls upon all to maintain calm and equip themselves with accurate information from the Ministry of Health. Citizens are asked to maintain strong hand hygiene and avoiding unnecessary physical contact in line with Ministry of Health Guidelines.