COVID-19 response in Ethiopia: Challenges and opportunities
Ethiopia implemented public health measures to curve COVID pandemics earlier than many countries. Airport screening, followed by partial closure of international flights and quarantine of all international travelers have slowed the trajectory of COVID-19 pandemics in its early phase. Early adoption of Public health measures including hand hygiene and use of facemask have also contributed to the slow trajectory seen in the early days of the pandemics. Unfortunately, early gains have been beset by slow scale-up of public health measures, recent lifting of the state of emergency and public fatigue. Hospitals are already at capacity and not equipped to handle even the lowest estimate the country expects at the peak of the pandemic. To mitigate the impact of the pandemics, Ethiopia must return to the basics of public health measures: increase testing, upscale contact tracing, social distancing and universal use of face mask quickly and across the country.