The Ethiopian Council of Ministers in its 80th regular session held on Saturday passed decisions to set up a national ministerial committee to prevent the spread of the outbreak from other countries into Ethiopia.
The council also names Muferihat Kamil, Minister of Peace, Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance, Gedu Andargachew, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Dr Lia Tadesse, State Minister of Health as members of the committee.
Early this week, the Ethiopian government and the World Health Organizations (WHO) stressed that joint efforts are well underway to contain a potential novel coronavirus outbreak in Ethiopia.
The WHO said in a statement “Home to one of Africa’s busiest international airline hubs, Ethiopia is bolstering preparedness to contain a potential outbreak of coronavirus disease, now known as COVID-19,”
Noting that Ethiopian health authorities are tightening up surveillance, diagnosis, epidemic response coordination and public health education to swiftly detect cases and limit widespread infections, the WHO also stressed that the East African country is among 13 African countries that it considers as “top priority for COVID-19 preparedness due to direct links or a high volume of travel to China.”
Recalling the confirmation by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population concerning the first case of COVID-19 in Africa, the WHO said that “while there have been no confirmed cases reported in sub-Saharan Africa, the WHO Regional Office for Africa continues to strengthen its support to countries to detect and manage suspect cases and ensure a robust response.”