Coronavirus: Ethiopia Situation Update

1 May 2020

Ethiopia confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Friday 13th February. As we go to press (1st May), 18,754 laboratory tests have been conducted and the total number of positive cases has risen to 133, 66 of whom have recovered, and three have died.

Since the beginning of the crisis, Ethiopia has focused its strategy on the need for proactive interventions to curb the potential spread of the virus, while putting in place the necessary infrastructure to ensure critical preparedness and capacity within the Health sector.

The first round of actions that the government took included:- the allocation of an emergency budget; the mandatory quarantining, for 14 days, of all travellers arriving into Ethiopia; the closure of schools; limiting the majority of the Federal workforce to working from home; the postponement of large public gatherings, including sporting events; releasing prisoners who had committed minor crimes and those whose probationary period was nearing its end; the closure of all bars and nightclubs and the expansion of public information and media campaigns to raise Coronavirus awareness.

However, relying on the above measures alone will not prevent further spread of the virus. As time goes by, the number of cases continues to rise, other vigorous decisions needed to be made. The government Cabinet decided to decree a State of Emergency that will last for five months. The purpose of the emergency decree is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and control and minimize the damage it causes. When the Prime Minister announced the Government’s decision to declare the State of Emergency, he described it as one made “in the interest of safeguarding current and future generations.”

Following its approval by the Council of Ministers, Proclamation 3/2020, also known as the “State of Emergency Proclamation Enacted to Counter and Control the Spread of COVID-19 and Mitigate its Impact”, made its passage through the House of Peoples’ Representatives on Friday 10th  April. It was also announced that the State of Emergency, and the associated measures for its implementation, could be revised at any point by the Council of Ministers, based on the prevailing circumstances at the time.

To mitigate the adverse economic impact of COVID-19, the government has given critical attention to taking measures which will help protect employment and income, scaling up safety-net programmes to the most vulnerable, maintaining the supply chain of basic commodities, and providing support to producers. To sustain food security, the government is working to ensure agricultural productivity by providing uninterrupted supplies of fertilizers, improved seeds, and pesticides.

The Government has also launched a nationwide resource mobilization campaign, asking Ethiopians to help out in any way they can. An appeal has also been made to the diaspora and the rest of the international community to reach out at this critical time and provide support. The diaspora community are providing assistance through donations and in various other forms, such as medical support.

Although many Ethiopians at home and members of the Ethiopian Diaspora have begun to heed the call of the National Appeal, the task of dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak entails further efforts and continued engagements.

Latest News

Browse all
From Monday 3 August 2020, the Embassy will resume processing visa applications by post only - a service that had been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please plan ahead and allow extra time when applying for a visa by post.
29 Jul 2020
COVID-19 Update: Resumption of Visa Services
His Excellency President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), convened an Extraordinary Meeting of the African Union (AU) Bureau of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, on 21 July 2020, to review progress pertaining to the Trilateral Negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance…
24 Jul 2020
Communiqué of the 2nd Extraordinary African Union Meeting on the GERD
To all Ethiopians, at home and abroad, and to all friends and partners of Ethiopia: We offer our sincere thanks for your commitment and dedication in supporting Ethiopia’s principled stand over the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Your support has been instrumental in the progress made so far.
23 Jul 2020
Message from the Deputy Head of Mission on the first filling of the GERD
The follow-up Extraordinary Meeting of the Bureau of the AU Assembly, convened by South African President and AU Chair, Cyril Ramaphosa, was held virtually on July 21, 2020, on the ongoing negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt with regards to the first filling and annual operation of the GERD.
21 Jul 2020
Press Release on the follow-up Extraordinary Meeting of the Bureau of the African Union Assembly on the GERD
Unchanged stances and additional and excessive demands of Egypt and Sudan have prohibited the conclusion of this round of negotiation by an agreement. Ethiopia is committed to showing flexibility to reach a win-win outcome on all outstanding issues.
14 Jul 2020
Press Release on the Tripartite Negotiation on the GERD
Since the tragic incident of June 29 which claimed the life of Hachalu Hundesa and the destruction that ensued, the government has been actively engaged in maintaining the rule of law and holding all perpetrators accountable. Two suspects have been apprehended for their involvement in the killing, while a third is still at large.
10 Jul 2020
Press Release from the Prime Minister’s Office
Statement from the Office of the Prime Minister on the context and updates on current issues in Ethiopia.
8 Jul 2020
Context and Updates on Current Issues in Ethiopia
Make the most of lockdown and dedicate some of that extra time to learning something new…something Ethiopian! This month, bake a banana loaf with an Ethiopian twist, watch a documentary about a town of famous runners and visit an online art exhibition.
3 Jul 2020
In pursuit of an African solution to African problems, the leaders of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt held a meeting on finalizing the technical negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The meeting set directions on the way forward, in which the three countries have agreed to conclude the negotiations and to try to reach a final agreement within the next…
30 Jun 2020
African solutions to African problems
On 28th June, the Embassy hosted Ethiopian Medical Doctors in the UK led by Dr. Merid Gebru, who passed on their experience of handling Covid-19 in the UK that might be transferable to Ethiopia. The full discussion will be available on our YouTube page soon. 
30 Jun 2020
Ethio-UK medical professionals discuss impact of COVID-19
Delivered by Ambassador Taye Atske-Selassie, Permanent Representative of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the United Nations, at the Security Council open VTC on Peace and Security in Africa on 29 June 2020.
29 Jun 2020
Ethiopia’s statement at the UN Security Council on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam