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27 Mar 2020 | 04:53 AM UTC

Ethiopia: State of emergency declared in Tigray region March 26 /update 5

Ethiopia News Alert

Tigray regional officials declare state of emergency on March 26, banning all travel within the region to prevent further spread of coronavirus; border closures remain in effect

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/27/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/20/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Addis_Ababa). COUNTRY/REGION Ethiopia

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Regional officials in Tigray declared a 15-day state of emergency in the region on Thursday, March 26, to prevent further spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Under the state of emergency, all travel within Tigray is prohibited. Social activities, such as weddings and festivities with large gatherings are banned. Markets will also be closed.

On Monday, March 23, all land borders across the country were closed and all non-essential inbound and outbound traffic and travel is prohibited. Schools, bars, nightclubs, and other large gatherings are also banned and security forces have been deployed to enforce the regulations. All passengers arriving in Ethiopia are subject a to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own expense in selected hotels in Addis Ababa. Individuals with onwards tickets are exempt for quarantine.

As of March 26, 12 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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