Ethiopia deploys army at borders to curb coronavirus spread
Cape Town - The Ethiopian government has deployed the army to prevent people from crossing borders.
A statement released by the office of the prime minister confirmed that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had met with heads of security, on Monday, where it was concluded that land borders would be closed and only essential goods could enter the country.
This is after the number of Covid-19 confirmed cases shot up to 11.
Broadcaster Africanews said the government would also be putting in place additional enforcement measures. These include regulating large gatherings and social distancing.
Public transport operators were also warned to avoid overcrowding and businesses would be monitored for price hiking essential products.
The government has also urged those who can work from home to do so.
Ethiopia is one of the countries at the tail-end in implementing such measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
On Monday, the government said it would be enforcing the 14-day mandatory quarantine which other countries in the East Africa region had already done.
Ahmed in his statement said travellers arriving at the International Airport in capital Addis Ababa will be quarantined for two weeks at designated hotels, the Skylight and Ghion.
While diplomats will quarantine at their respective embassies. Ahmed also banned public events and has shut down schools for the next 15 days.
Countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda took such actions last week, already.
Rwanda even took it a step further by announcing a lockdown which started on Monday.
The lockdown means that Rwandans are not allowed to leave their homes, unless they are going to do grocery shopping, going to the bank or accessing health care.
All shops and businesses have closed down apart from those rendering essentials such as supermarkets, banks, petrol stations and restaurants are only open to sell takeaways.
Public transport in Rwanda will continue operating but have to maintain a 1-metre distance rule.
South Africa announced a lockdown on Monday night.
African News Agency (ANA)