BY ETENESH ABERA @ETENESHAB
Addis Abeba, May 20/2020 – In a joint presser given by the Ministry of Health and Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), Dr. Liya Tadesse and Dr. Eba Abate, minister and director general respectively of the ministry and EPHI revealed that 66 COVID-19 cases were connected to one police station in the capital Addis Abeba, which makes it the largest cluster case from the total confirmed numbers in Ethiopia.
By the time the presser was given this morning, the total number of confirmed cases in Ethiopia stood at 365. **This number was revised a few hours later to 389 after the laboratory results from the last 24 hours were counted in.
Dr. Lia said that the rise in COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks takes 63% of the cases so far, and is more than the total cases reported in the two months after the first case was reported on March 13, indicating an alarming rise.
Of the 365 cases at the time of the presser, 228 were from the capital Addis Abeba. (With the latest rise to 389 that number now stands at 237.)
According to Dr. Eba, Lideta and Addis Ketema Kifle Ketemas (sub-city) are the hardest hit with more than 40% of the cases among them.
Contact traces following one person who was tested positive led to several other people who tested positive, among them seventeen individuals who were temporary detainees in a police station in Wereda 03 of Lideta sub-city. Additional tests conducted in the same station showed additional 40 prisoners testing positive for the virus since then. This was followed by nine more people from the same station who were exposed to the virus due to their works. “A total of 66 people were tested positive for the virus from this one center,” Dr. Eba said.
Nationally, the virus has been reported in seven regional states and two chartered city administrations (Addis Abeba and Dire Dawa) as well as in 40 out of 80 zonal administrations nationwide, Dr. Lia said. Among this Addis Abeba represented 48% of the cases.
The rise in the number of patients with no travel history and no known contact traces is the other alarming trend, according to the two officials. Dr. Lia said that it represented 19% of the total 365 cases, which was the number at the time of the presser.
***Four more people from Addis Abeba were among patients with no travel history and no known contact traces in today’s tally, which was published after the presser, bringing the total confirmed number to 389. AS