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Table 3 Public health interventions to contain COVID-19 in Ethiopia

From: Containment of COVID-19 in Ethiopia and implications for tuberculosis care and research

Core activities Progressive measures taken to combat the COVID-19
Public gatherings suspended On 16 March 2020, the government limited public gatherings including gatherings for religious practices, sporting events, and concerts, ordered school closures, ordered high-risk civil servants to work from home. The government preferred daily activities to continue but with containment measures
Transports restricted Taxi and mass transport services were restricted to abide by new working time rules and to provide services with half of their load capacity. The nine Regional States and two City Administrations imposed travel restrictions
Flights suspended Ethiopia suspended flights to 30 countries affected with the diseases on 23 March 2020 and this extended to more than 80 countries on 29 March 2020
Land borders closed Ethiopia closed all land borders and deployed security forces on 23 March 2020
Pardon for prisoners A total of 20 402 prisoners were granted pardon to prevent the spread of the disease in prison
Election postponed Over COVID-19 fears, the Ethiopian government has officially postponed parliamentary and presidential elections which were supposed to be held on 29 August 2020
State of emergency declared Considering the progressive rise of cases in the country, the government declared a five-month national state of emergency on 8 April 2020
Political parties participated On 5 April 2020, the Prime Minister of the country Dr Abiy Ahmed officially met and discussed with leaders of competing political parties to discuss and reach consensus on the effect and containment of COVID-19
Religious leaders participated Ethiopian Religious Council, which draws membership from various religions in the country, declared a one-month prayer program from 6 April to 5 May 2020 and this was televised live. Religious leaders had announced ahead for worshipers to avoid going to church and mosques but pray from home
Medias informed the public Different national multimedia outlets and billboards massively disseminated facts and educational information to create awareness and deliver up-to-date information about COVID-19. Ethio-telecom uses cell-phone ring tones to remind people of the importance of hygiene measures
International collaborations harnessed The country took steps in international collaborations to fighting the pandemic. Prime Minister of Ethiopia Dr Abiy Ahmed and the Chinese businessman Jack Ma and Ali Baba Foundation have initiated a PM Abiy-Jack Ma initiative to support African countries with COVID-19 diagnostics and infection prevention control commodities on 17 March 2020. The Ethiopian airlines deployed the COVID-19 supplied donated by the Jak Ma to African Union Member States and the African Union’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention provided technical guidelines. The commodities included millions of test kits, masks, and protective suits
Regular information dissemination The Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health and its technical arm, the Ethiopian Public health Institute, established an active surveillance mechanism as per the WHO recommendation to regularly check the status of the disease in the population and disseminate the information. The number of tests performed, cases confirmed, and cases recovered have been reported each day by Dr Lia Tadesse, State Minister of the Federal Ministry of Health. This has been the most reliable information