Eritrean president likens coronavirus to ‘sudden war’ of historic dimension

Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki has delivered his first public address on the coronavirus pandemic since the country recorded index case on March 21.

In a message broadcast via public broadcasters, Eri-TV and Radio Dimtsi Hafash, he likened the COVID-19 pandemic to a sudden war that the world least expected and was thus not fully prepared for.

“President Isaias noted that the global threat posed by the pandemic (COVID-19) is analogous to a sudden war, without any parallel in our contemporary times, that has been declared without any warning or prediction by all standards,” Minister of Information posted on Twitter.

He added that in spite of the grave danger that COVID-19 poses, Eritreans home and abroad have to ensure that it does not overwhelm or paralyze them and derail the development programmes embarked on.

He said it was important to combine existing developmental programs with the current combat against the pandemic. He tasked citizens to do all it takes to surmount the current and existing challenges.

As of April 18, the Eritrea COVID-19 situation report had 35 confirmed cases, all currently under treatment – meaning the country had not recorded any recovery or death.

A lockdown was imposed weeks back by the COVID-19 Task Force with periodic regulations being issued by the Health Ministry through the information ministry website.