FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a face mask, runs in front of a truck spraying disinfectant on the street as part of measures to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the country to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus, his office said on Twitter.
“Considering the gravity of the #COVID19, the government of Ethiopia has enacted a State of Emergency,” Abiy’s office said.
Africa’s second most populous nation at more than 110 million, Ethiopia has recorded 52 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and two deaths.
Authorities have already taken a series of measures to stem the spread including closing schools, banning public gatherings and requiring most employees to work from home.
The prime minister did not mention what additional steps would be taken under the state of emergency.
Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; Writing by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Jason Neely