State of emergency

Ethiopia coronavirus cases at 117, Tigray relaxes state of emergency

Northern Tigray regional state, the first to declare a COVID-19 state of emergency have announced a relaxing of the measure, the regional information outfit reported.

The state of emergency declared in late March is now expected to last for three months according to the state council.

In explaining the rationale for the current move, regional deputy president Debretsion Gebremichael said despite being uninfected till date, the region had in the past weeks undertaken intense door-to-door screening to detect any early symptoms of the virus.

He added that 23,000 professionals had been deployed and had covered a million and half households in the process.

All 33 suspected cases detected turned out negative hence the decision to relax the emergency rule.

Under the relaxed regime, civil servants will be returning to work whiles inter-state movement will resume. Bars and restaurants are allowed to open but to serve customers on take-away basis.

The region has, since April 12 been implementing a 14-day mandatory quarantine for all arrivals at its main airport Alula Aba Nega airport, the privately-run Addis Standard reported citing a BBC Amharic report.

The quarantine measures remain in place along with bans remain on social gathering.

Meanwhile, all operations that are now allowed per law must be conducted within strict limits of social distancing and observance of other COVID-19 prevention protocols. The state was also the first to get a testing center.