The Ethiopian government has approved a decree ordering members of the public to wear face coverings outside their homes, effective on Wednesday to curb the spread of coronavirus.Wearing face masks was not mandatory everywhere in Ethiopia, but strict rules had been enforced to cover mouth and nose in public, market, and transportation hubs where a maximum of four people are allowed to stand together.
The move came following an increase in the rates of Covid-19 cases.
The total number of confirmed cases has climbed to 731, with six deaths.
The country’s Attorney General in a statement also announced the lifting of a rationing scheme introduced in Addis Ababa last month banning private vehicles with odd or even plate numbers from roads on alternate days.
According to the statement, public servants working hours have also been changed in the capital Addis Ababa to reduce overcrowding in public transport services.
Accordingly, the entrance time has been changed to 7:30 am from 8:30am while the time for exit is 3:30 pm from 5:30 pm, the statement indicated.
In order to limit people’s movements, the Attorney General also announced new tariffs on cross-country bus transport services.
Hence, the tariffs for 45-seater vehicles and more buses have gone up by 75 percent from their initial costs.
The tariffs for buses with a carrying capacity of up to 45 people have also doubled.
So far, Ethiopia has reported 731 cases of COVID-19 out of total test count of 91,616.
A total of 181 COVID-19 patients have recovered since the first case of the virus was reported in the country on March 13, 2020.