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Life in quarantine in Addis Ababa – Ethiopia

Contribution by WBFN Member Sheetal Siwach 

In Ethiopia, COVID 19 was out there in a distant world until March 13th, this is when the first case was detected for a Japanese citizen who travelled to Addis Ababa (capital city) from Burkino Faso. With the first case being confirmed people started panicking and were anxious just to think if history will repeat itself as in China and Italy. Following this government announced to close schools until further notice. UN did put its emergency plan in place which meant that all non-critical staff across 28 UN agencies in Addis will work from home and follow norms of social distancing.

This was just a quick peek to what was coming next, International community school announced school closure for five weeks and this was later converted to until next school year. With this announcement, mostly all expat families left to their home countries. Families left in country did ask their house helps to adhere to social distancing by not coming to work and stay at home.

Government did take major decision regarding public commute, halting air and land connectivity to all COVID-19 affected countries. Passengers arriving in Addis has to go for mandatory 14 day quarantine. With all these measures put in place its still 85 cases in the country with 15 being recovered and 3 fatalities.

With all these measures it got all the more difficult to manage day to day life. Its been four weeks that we are home and have just been out for grocery shopping. As per the latest, government will soon start mass testing of body temperature across cities in Ethiopia.

Lastly, we’re monitoring the situation closely and praying for COVID -19 to spare Ethiopia and Africa in general and this continents healthcare is not sufficient to deal with this pandemic.