Ambassador denounces masking detractors
Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, Fetsum Arega, called for various players to stop discouraging the general public from wearing masks on the grounds of supply shortage and other reasons. The ambassador said so during a webinar organized by People to People on May 16, 2020, in collaboration with multiple stakeholders including the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, Ohio State University, and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE) of Ethiopia.
During his opening remarks, Fetsum asserted that the Ethiopian Diaspora High-Level Advisory Council for COVID-19 has been working hard towards the mandatory masking in Ethiopia adding that the practice is scientifically supported.
But there are challenges in mass masking in the country because of the pressure from some groups of the society who claim that there is a shortage of supply and all people need not wear them.
“This has to stop and we should help the society get the benefits masking presents because social and physical distancing is difficult to attain,” he asserted.
According to Fetsum, a total of USD 1.2 million has been mobilized from the diaspora community out of which the purchase of PPEs are one and it is being sent to Ethiopia, at the moment. He further said that the 25-member advisory council of doctors for COVID-19 has been setup.
On his part, Afework Kassu (Prof.), State Minister of MoSHE, said that the government is playing its part to prevent the disease which is bearing fruit. The successful roles of the government are manifested in awareness creation, resource mobilization, technology, and the like.
The webinar that drew the participation of respected medical experts from across the globe deliberated on the challenges of COVID-19 testing in Ethiopia, how probabilities of false positive and false negative tests could be managed, and how non-pharmaceutical interventions could help control the spread of COVID-19.