Two Ethiopians in the United Arab Emirates tested positive for the coronavirus, the country’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) confirmed late on Saturday.The two Ethiopians are among 13 people of different nationalities who were found to have contracted the virus, bringing the total of those infected in the Middle Eastern country to 45.
The early monitoring and reporting system of MoHAP reported 13 COVID19 cases – one individual each from Thailand, China, Morocco and India, two from Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Iran and three from the UAE.
All these cases arrived from abroad, the ministry said in a statement.
It is the first time that Ethiopian nationals were reported to have contracted the coronavirus out of the country.
No case of COVID-19 is reported in Ethiopia yet.
Ethiopian health officials said they have learned about the case of the two Ethiopian with the virus.
The authorities said they are tightening up surveillance, diagnosis, epidemic response coordination and public health education to swiftly detect cases and limit widespread infections.
The WHO also stressed that the East African country is among 13 African nations that it considers as “top priority for COVID-19 preparedness due to direct links or a high volume of travel to China.”
WHO in a statement said Ethiopia being “home to one of Africa’s busiest international airline hubs, needs to bolster preparedness to contain a potential outbreak of the coronavirus.