– 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 expected in fortnight

Ethiopia is now getting ready to treat 10,000 new COVID-19 cases as it has recently launched mass testing for coronavirus. The country would carry out 200,000 COVID-19 testing in two weeks and anticipates 10,000 new cases through community-based movement and testing campaign.

According to State Minister of Health Dr. Dereje Duguma, the campaign will help to increase the national daily testing capacity to 15,000 from the current 11,450.

To this end, the country has already imported one million testing kits, he said, adding that other necessary items are also stored by the and would be made available to its 46 laboratories soon.

“Each laboratory needs to achieve at least 85 to 90 percent of its testing quota per day.” The campaign aims to identify and treat the expected 10,000 positive people in health institutions or at home, he noted.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has identified vulnerable citizens in accordance with types of jobs. Hence, security professionals, health workers, laborers and people with low income are more vulnerable to this global pandemic including patients of HIV AIDS, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.

Moreover, the ministry has selected 1,000 places where vulnerable people live and work together so that the testing campaign will give due attention to those places. MoH is also offering training to all health professionals designated in COVID-19 response to move in full capacity to test and protect the pandemic as fast as possible, he noted.

The government will also evaluate the outcome of the campaign through time in order to ease national restrictions in terms of education, and businesses in contrast with the pandemic.

The committees organized across the country to combat the pandemic led by the ministry and presidents of each state will work hand in hand to achieve the campaign. MoH wants leadership commitment at federal and regional level than any other times to achieve the campaign through awaking and reminding the people to respect the laws implemented to protect the pandemic through using face masks, applying social distancing and proper sanitation among others.

“We expect them to monitor the campaign each day and hold evaluation meeting two times each week to achieve the goal,” Dr. Dereje said. The plan is to cover 80 percent of the country’s woredas testing peoples in 17 million houses (80 to 85 million of the total population) via providing door to door service, he stated.