With guest blogger, Meron Shawul
Meron is a longtime Studio Samuel supporter, graduate of UNLV School of Public Health,
and was born not far from our training center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) and The WHO Country Office Ethiopia (WCO) are working closely to report cases and implement from control Measures (WHO Africa, 2020). WHO has collaborated with EPHI to take immediate action and work on identifying contacts of patients who have tested positive or if the patient is a traveler from the time individual entered Ethiopia to the time of diagnosis.
Individuals who are self-isolating in their homes are highly recommended to have a separate room with good airflow from windows and doors. If there is a lack of space, individuals should maintain at least two meters of physical distance and must cover the mouth and nose with a mask. During the time of self-isolating, if an individual develops symptoms of COVID-19 or similar symptoms, they are required to report to EPHI or nearby health care facility by telephone. U.S. Embassy, Ethiopia, 2020). If the individual arrived without a negative RT-PCR, they are required to complete The U.S. Embassy Ethiopia announced its quarantine requirements for any incoming travels outside of the country. American citizens arriving at Bole International airport with proof of a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours before arrival and have no signs of symptoms may go home and compete for 14-day mandatory quarantine at their home (U.S. Embassy Ethiopia, 2020). If the individual arrived without a negative RT-PCR, they are required to complete mandatory quarantine by staying at a government-approved hotel which has been reduced from 14 days to 7 days (U.S. Embassy Ethiopia, 2020)
There is still so much to learn about COVID-19. Authorities have taken immediate action to lower the spread of the virus: main streets in the capital of Ethiopia are being sprayed with disinfectant, including banning public gatherings and requiring most employees to work from home. On April 03, 2020, Ethiopia launched a door to door temperature screening campaign to prevent and lower the spread of COVID-19 (Taddesse, 2020). Health workers, volunteers, and about 1200 retired physicians were involved in the screening exercise (Taddesse, 2020).
It is essential to perform hand hygiene frequently, the only way to protect yourself and others is by knowing how the virus spreads, mainly it is spread person to person. If you happen to be in close contact, make sure you are within 6 feet apart. Respiratory droplets spread through coughing, sneezing, or talking. Another huge problem is that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. Washing hands often with soap and water thoroughly for at least 20 minutes is essential. Some examples are such as before eating or preparing food, touching your face, after using the restroom, after leaving a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, after removing your mask, after caring someone sick, after touching animals or pets, etc. (CDC, 2020). If water and soap are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% of alcohol (if hand sanitizer does not contain 60% or more of alcohol, it is not effective).
Coronavirus is a worldwide pandemic, and many people are at high risk. We cannot afford to leave anyone behind, and it is time that we all come together to fight this disease. This is something we all will remember and talk about for the rest of our lives.
By: Meron Shawul
August 08, 2020
Al Jazeera. (2020, April 08). Ethiopia declares state of emergency to fight coronavirus. Retrieved August 07, 2020, from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/ethiopia-declares-state-emergency-fight-covid-19-200408142519485.html
Oqubay, A. (2020, June 05). Ethiopia's unconventional COVID-19 response. Retrieved August 07, 2020, from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/ethiopia-covid19-response/
Taddesse, A. G. (2020, March 13). Door-to-door temperature screening launched in Ethiopia. Retrieved August 07, 2020, from https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/door-to-door-temperature-screening-launched-in-ethiopia/1803391
U.S. Embassy Ethiopia | June 26, 2. (2020, June 26). Alert: Revised Quarantine Requirements for Arriving Travelers. Retrieved August 04, 2020, from https://et.usembassy.gov/alert-revised-quarantine-requirements-for-arriving-travelers/
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