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Ethiopia needs at least 130m face masks – Minister

Health facilities in Ethiopia could face shortage of medical face masks unless urgent measures are taken, a senior official has warned.In a briefing on Tuesday, Health minister Dr. Lia Tadesse said the country will require at least 130 million medical face masks over the next four months.

The number of face masks available in the country at the start of the out break in mid March was only 4 million, she recalled.

However, following the efforts made after the outbreak, more than 7 million face masks were distributed to health facilities, according to her.

In addition to importing medical supplies and receiving donations from various sources, joint efforts are underway with relevant ministeries to manufacture face masks locally with the required standards of quality.

She further said country has now made available 221 ventilators as well as distributed more than 3, 600 oxygen cylinders across the country to fight the pandemic.

Dr Lia further said broad efforts are underway to scale up testing capacity following the significant increase in the spread of the virus across the country, especial in the past three weeks.

The country saw a 310 percent spike in COVID-19 cases during the past couple of weeks.

The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has reached 1,344 in Ethiopia with,  231 recoveries and 14 deaths so far.

Published on 28.04.2020

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