Ethiopia virus cases hit 52, 9-month old infant infected

Wednesday April 08 2020

Orthodox Christians pray on the street after police officers barred their entry to the Medhane Alem Cathedral as the government bars large gatherings to curb the spread of the Covid-19 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on April 5, 2020. PHOTO | MICHAEL TEWELDE | AFP


Addis Ababa. Ethiopia on Tuesday reported eight new Covid-19 cases, the highest number recorded so far in one day since the country confirmed its first virus case on March 12.

Among the new patients that tested positive for the virus were a 9-month-old infant and his mother who had travelled to Dubai recently.

“During the past 24 hours, we have done laboratory tests for a total of 264 people and eight out of them have been diagnosed with coronavirus, raising the total confirmed number of Covid-19 patients in Ethiopia to 52,” said Health Minister Dr Lia Tadese.

According to the Minister, seven of the newly confirmed patients had travel histories to various countries.

They have been under forced-quarantine in different designated hotels in the capital, Addis Ababa.

“Five of the new patients including the 9-month-old baby and the mother came from Dubai while the two others came from Thailand and the United Kingdom,” she said.


The Minister added that all the patients -- seven Ethiopians and one Eritrean national -- are in good health.

So far, the horn of Africa country has reported two deaths and four recoveries from the pandemic.

However, one patient remains in the intensive care unit.


As Ethiopia reported its first youngest Covid-19 victim, a 9-month-old infant, an Ethiopian medical doctor has cautioned African mothers to be vigilant so as to avoid mother-to-child transmission.

“Pregnant mothers should protect themselves from the virus. However, I don’t think African countries are giving any attention to the matter,” Dr Bereket Solomon told the Nation.

According to him, Africa should learn from this case.

“African health institutions and health experts should take the infection of this Ethiopian baby and other infected infants as an early warning to attach along with their precautionary measures,” he said.

He urged mothers to consult with health experts on "how to start or continue breast feeding" in a way that ensures safety of their children.