Health Section

COVID-19: Africa’s Case-fatality Ratio 2.7%

Ethiopia, Tunisia, Kenya, South Africa and Libya are the countries that reported the highest number of new cases, says Africa CDC. (Photo: In Ethiopia religious leaders receiving COVID-19 vaccine on April 9th, 2021/shared via Twitter MoH ETHIOPIA @FMoHealth)

Anadolu Agency

By Addis Getachew

114,000 deaths recorded out of 4.3M confirmed cases, says Africa CDC

ADDIS ABABA – Africa’s COVID-19 case-fatality ratio is 2.7%, more than the global average of 2.2%, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Thursday.

In a weekly press briefing held virtually, Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong said 114,000 COVID-19 patients have died, while more than 4.3 million cases have been registered across the continent – 3.3% of the total cases globally.

The number of recoveries stands at 3.8 million – 90% of the overall infections, he said, adding that more than 41 million tests have been conducted to date.

Sharing the trends, Nkengasong said Africa in the past week saw 80,000 new cases, a 4% increase compared to the previous week.

Ethiopia, Tunisia, Kenya, South Africa and Libya are the countries that reported the highest number of new cases, he said.

He said 19 countries are reporting the presence of the B.1.1.7, commonly known as the UK or Kent COVID-19 variant, while 18 states have confirmed the B.1.351, or the South African strain of coronavirus.

Regarding vaccination, he said a total of 33.8 million vaccine doses have been acquired by member states, with approximately 12.9 million doses administered. “As of today, 31 members have received their consignment of COVID vaccines from the [WHO-led] COVAX facility – over 16 million doses.”

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COVID-19: Ethiopia Rates Spiking

Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse announcing that Ethiopia this week received a donation of 300,000 doses of COVID19 sinopharm vaccine from China. According to a "Health Alert" by the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa: "Community transmission of the coronavirus in Ethiopia is widespread and accelerating rapidly. Public and private hospitals in Addis Ababa are reporting that their COVID bedspace is full." (Photo: Image via Twitter)

THE LATEST UPDATE:

Updated: March 30th, 2021

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    Ethiopia begins COVID-19 vaccine rollout


    A healthcare personnel receives the first dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine at the EKA Kottebe hospital as vaccination process begins in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 13, 2021. (Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu – Anadolu Agency)

    By Addis Getachew | Anadolu Agency

    ADDIS ABABA — Hoping to curb a recent spike in infections, Ethiopia kicked off its COVID-19 vaccination drive on Saturday. Jabs were administered in several major cities, including the capital Addis Ababa, where top government officials and UN representatives attended a ceremony at the Eka General Hospital. Doctors, nurses, and support staff at the hospital, one of Ethiopia’s main COVID-19 treatment centers, were given shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Ethiopia received its first batch of 2.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine last week under the COVAX initiative, a project co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines around the world. Speaking at the ceremony, Education Minister Getahun Mekuria said Ethiopia has been experiencing an alarming increase in infections over recent days. “Negligence is costing the nation dearly,” he warned.

    Read more »

    Survey identifies troubling effect of pandemic on where women give birth in Ethiopia

    In urban areas, delivery rates in lower-level health facilities increased and hospital deliveries decreased after social distancing restrictions were put in place

    By Johns Hopkins Magazine

    A new study from the Bloomberg School of Public Health and researchers at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia has found that as of June, the proportion of women in urban areas—where COVID-19 rates were highest—who delivered in lower-level health facilities significantly increased while deliveries in hospitals declined. A pregnant woman’s place of delivery is a key maternal health service component that has a direct impact on pregnancy and newborn outcomes, and researchers have been monitoring how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting women’s delivery patterns. The analysis was conducted using data from the Performance Monitoring for Action Ethiopia survey, led by Linnea Zimmerman, assistant professor in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health at the Bloomberg School, and Solomon Shiferaw and Assefa Seme at Addis Ababa University. The project is managed by Johns Hopkins global health affiliate Jhpiego and the Gates Institute. Results from the analysis also showed that at the national level, there was no difference in the proportion of women who delivered in a hospital and home delivery rates remained unchanged. Looking within urban areas, women who delivered during May and June, after COVID-19 restrictions started, were significantly less likely to deliver in a hospital relative to women who delivered prior to the pandemic.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia Coronavirus Cases Reach 204, 521

    By Ministry of Health

    In Ethiopia, as of March 30th, 2021, there have been 204, 521 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Read more »

    Assessing Ethiopian women’s vulnerability to the COVID-19 pandemic

    By World Bank

    The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has devastating health and economic impacts globally and has disproportionately affected vulnerable groups. As highlighted in a blog published at the onset of the pandemic, the coronavirus is not gender-blind and pre-existing gender gaps may intensify during and after the pandemic due to worsening human capital, economic, and women’s agency outcomes.

    What can high-frequency phone survey data tell us about the gendered effects of the pandemic in Ethiopia?

    The short answer: A lot!

    Read more »

    How Ethiopia prepared its health workforce for the COVID-19 response


    Photo via the World Health Organization

    By The World Health Organization

    In a busy intensive care unit in Eka Kotebe General Hospital, Addis Ababa, Dr Samuel Getnet, 28, a newly-recruited young and energetic physician anxiously monitors the mechanical ventilators, an indispensable form of life support for COVID-19 patients with respiratory distress.

    “I never thought my professional journey would bring me to the place where I’m today—at the center of COVID-19 pandemic management team—treating and caring for the most severely ill patients who critically need my support and care. Despite the challenges and risks, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my people at this critical time,” he said.

    Dr Getnet is a general practitioner who came on board as part of the surge capacity planning for human resources announced by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health in February 2020. Before starting his duty in the intensive care unit, he received in-person training from the World Health Organization (WHO), with practical sessions taking place in the hospital. The topics he covered include case management, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), infection prevention and control (IPC), and the application and use of mechanical ventilation. He also benefited from online WHO resources such as Open WHO.org.

    Read more »

    ‘Relieved’: US health workers start getting COVID-19 vaccine


    Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo)

    By The Associated Press

    The biggest vaccination campaign in U.S. history kicked off Monday as health workers rolled up their sleeves for shots to protect them from COVID-19 and start beating back the pandemic — a day of optimism even as the nation’s death toll closed in on 300,000.

    “I feel hopeful today. Relieved,” critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay said after getting a shot in the arm at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York.

    With a countdown of “3-2-1,” workers at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center gave the first injections to applause.

    And in New Orleans, Steven Lee, an intensive care unit pharmacist at Ochsner Medical Center, summed up the moment as he got his own vaccination: “We can finally prevent the disease as opposed to treating it.”

    Other hospitals around the country, from Rhode Island to Texas, unloaded precious frozen vials of vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech, with staggered deliveries set throughout the day and Tuesday. A few other countries have authorized the vaccine, including Britain, which started vaccinating people last week, and Canada, which began doing so on Monday.

    For health care workers, who along with nursing home residents will be first in line for vaccination, hope is tempered by grief and the sheer exhaustion of months spent battling a coronavirus that still is surging in the U.S. and around the world.

    Read more »

    IN PICTURES: On the Frontline Against Covid-19 in Ethiopia – A Photo Essay


    Frontline workers at the Eka Kotebe hospital. (Photo by Yonas Tadesse)

    By Yonas Tadesse

    The first case of Covid-19 in Ethiopia was reported on 13 March, when a team of first responders took in a 48-year-old Japanese man. Having never seen anything like his condition, they did not know what to prepare for, and thus started their new normal of battling the coronavirus in Ethiopia.

    Doctors, nurses, janitors, security guards and drivers donned hats they had never dreamed of wearing as they worked to develop systems and techniques to minimise the damage from the virus – often at the cost of their health, their home lives, their reputations, and sometimes their lives.

    Read more and see the photos at theguardian.com »

    FACTBOX- Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 67.72 million, death toll at 1,548,575

    By Reuters

    More than 67.72 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,548,575​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

    Read more »

    Africa’s cases of COVID-19 top 1 million

    By Reuters

    Africa’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have surpassed 1 million, a Reuters tally showed on Thursday, as the disease began to spread rapidly through a continent whose relative isolation has so far spared it the worst of the pandemic. The continent recorded 1,003,056 cases, of which 21,983 have died and 676,395 recovered. South Africa – which is the world’s fifth worst-hit nation and makes up more than half of sub-Saharan Africa’s case load – has recorded 538,184 cases since its first case on March 5, the health ministry said on Thursday. Low levels of testing in several countries, apart from South Africa, mean Africa’s infection rates are likely to be higher than reported, experts say. Read more »

    COVID19 Contact Tracing is a race. But few U.S. states say how fast they’re running

    Someone — let’s call her Person A — catches the coronavirus. It’s a Monday. She goes about life, unaware her body is incubating a killer. By perhaps Thursday, she’s contagious. Only that weekend does she come down with a fever and get tested. What happens next is critical. Public health workers have a small window of time to track down everyone Person A had close contact with over the past few days. Because by the coming Monday or Tuesday, some of those people — though they don’t yet have symptoms — could also be spreading the virus. Welcome to the sprint known as contact tracing, the process of reaching potentially exposed people as fast as possible and persuading them to quarantine. The race is key to controlling the pandemic ahead of a vaccine, experts say. But most places across the United States aren’t making public how fast or well they’re running it, leaving Americans in the dark about how their governments are mitigating the risk. An exception is the District of Columbia, which recently added metrics on contact tracing to its online dashboard. A few weeks ago, the District was still too overwhelmed to try to ask all of those who tested positive about their contacts. Now, after building a staff of several hundred contact tracers, D.C. officials say they’re making that attempt within 24 hours of a positive test report in about 98 percent of cases. For months, every U.S. state has posted daily numbers on coronavirus testing — along with charts of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. So far, only one state, Oregon, posts similar data about contact tracing. Officials in New York say they plan to begin publishing such metrics in the coming weeks.

    Read more »

    Coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpass 2.5 million

    By The Washington Post

    June 28th, 2020

    Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 2.5 million on Sunday morning as a devastating new wave of infections continued to bear down throughout the country’s South and West. Florida, Texas and Arizona are fast emerging as the country’s latest epicenters after reporting record numbers of new infections for weeks in a row. Positivity rates and hospitalizations have also spiked. Global cases of covid-19 exceeded 10 million, according to a count maintained by Johns Hopkins University, a measure of the power and spread of a pandemic that has caused vast human suffering, devastated the world’s economy and still threatens vulnerable populations in rich and poor nations alike.
    Read more »

    WHO warns of ‘new and dangerous phase’ as coronavirus accelerates; Americas now hardest hit

    By The Washington Post

    The World Health Organization warned Friday that “the world is in a new and dangerous phase” as the global pandemic accelerates. The world recorded about 150,000 new cases on Thursday, the largest rise yet in a single day, according to the WHO. Nearly half of these infections were in the Americas, as new cases continue to surge in the United States, Brazil and across Latin America. More than 8.5 million coronavirus cases and at least 454,000 deaths have been reported worldwide. As confirmed cases and hospitalizations climb in the U.S., new mask requirements are prompting faceoffs between officials who seek to require face coverings and those, particularly conservatives, who oppose such measures. Several studies this month support wearing masks to curb coronavirus transmission, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend their use as a protective measure. Read more »

    World Bank Provides Additional Support to Help Ethiopia Mitigate Economic Impacts of COVID-19

    JUNE 18, 2020

    The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved $250 million ($125 million grant and $125 million credit) in supplemental financing for the ongoing Second Ethiopia Growth and Competitiveness Programmatic Development Policy Financing. This funding is geared towards helping Ethiopia to revitalize the economy by broadening the role of the private sector and attaining a more sustainable development path.

    “The COVID 19 pandemic is expected to severely impact Ethiopia’s economy. The austerity of the required containment measures, along with disruptions to air travel and the collapse in international demand for goods exported by Ethiopia are already taking a toll on the economy,” said Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea. “Additionally, an estimated 1.8 million jobs are at risk, and the incomes and livelihoods of several million informal workers, self-employed individuals and farmers are expected to be affected.”

    The supplemental financing will help to mitigate the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on the Government’s reform agenda. Specifically, the program is intended to help address some of the unanticipated financing needs the Government of Ethiopia is facing due to the COVID-19 crisis. Additional financing needs are estimated to be approximately $1.5 billion, as revenue collection is expected to weaken, and additional expenditure is needed to mitigate the public health and economic impacts of the crisis.

    Read more »

    Once the coronavirus epicenter in the U.S., New York City begins to reopen


    After three months of a coronavirus crisis followed by protests and unrest, New York City is trying to turn a page when a limited range of industries reopen Monday, June 8, 2020. (AP Photo)

    100 days after the first coronavirus case was confirmed there, the city that was once the epicenter of America’s coronavirus pandemic began to reopen. The number of cases in New York has plunged, but health officials fear that a week of protests on the streets could bring a new wave.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) estimated that between 200,000 to 400,000 workers returned to work throughout the city’s five boroughs.

    “All New Yorkers should be proud you got us to this day,” de Blasio said at a news conference at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a manufacturing hub.

    Read more »

    US Deaths From Coronavirus Surpass 100,000 Milestone

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. surpassed a jarring milestone Wednesday in the coronavirus pandemic: 100,000 deaths. That number is the best estimate and most assuredly an undercount. But it represents the stark reality that more Americans have died from the virus than from the Vietnam and Korea wars combined. “It’s a striking reminder of how dangerous this virus can be,” said Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington. The true death toll from the virus, which emerged in China late last year and was first reported in the U.S. in January, is widely believed to be significantly higher, with experts saying many victims died of COVID-19 without ever being tested for it. Read more »

    Ethiopia Coronavirus Cases Reach 5,846

    By Dr. Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health

    Report #111 የኢትዮጵያ የኮሮና ቫይረስ ሁኔታ መግለጫ. Status update on #COVID19Ethiopia. Total confirmed cases [as of June 29th, 2020]: 5,846 Read more »

    New York Times Memorializes Coronavirus Victims as U.S. Death Toll Nears 100,000

    America is fast approaching a grim milestone in the coronavirus outbreak — each figure here represents one of the nearly 100,000 lives lost so far. Read more »

    Spotlight: Ethiopia’s First Private Ambulance System Tebita Adds Services Addressing COVID19

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    Twelve year ago when Kibret Abebe quit his job as a nurse anesthetist at Black Lion Hospital and sold his house to launch Tebita Ambulance — Ethiopia’s First Private Ambulance System — his friends and family were understandably concerned about his decisions. But today Tebita operates over 20 advanced life support ambulances with approval from the Ministry of Health and stands as the country’s premier Emergency Medical Service (EMS). Tebita has since partnered with East Africa Emergency Services, an Ethiopian and American joint venture that Kibret also owns, with the aim “to establish the first trauma center and air ambulance system in Ethiopia.” This past month Tebita announced their launch of new services in Addis Abeba to address the COVID-19 pandemic and are encouraging Ethiopians residing in the U.S. to utilize Tebita for regular home check-ins on elderly family members as well as vulnerable individuals with pre-existing conditions. The following is an audio of the interview with Kibret Abebe and Laura Davis of Tebita Ambulance and East Africa Emergency Services: Read more »

    WHO reports most coronavirus cases in a day as cases approach five million

    By Reuters

    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization expressed concern on Wednesday about the rising number of new coronavirus cases in poor countries, even as many rich nations have begun emerging from lockdown. The global health body said 106,000 new cases of infections of the novel coronavirus had been recorded in the past 24 hours, the most in a single day since the outbreak began. “We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference. “We are very concerned about rising cases in low and middle income countries.” Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies programme, said: “We will soon reach the tragic milestone of 5 million cases.” Read more »

    WHO head says vaccines, medicines must be fairly shared to beat COVID-19

    By Reuters

    Scientists and researchers are working at “breakneck” speed to find solutions for COVID-19 but the pandemic can only be beaten with equitable distribution of medicines and vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday. “Traditional market models will not deliver at the scale needed to cover the entire globe,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing in Geneva.

    Read more »

    Doctors face new urgency to solve children and coronavirus puzzle

    By Axios

    Solving the mystery of how the coronavirus impacts children has gained sudden steam, as doctors try to determine if there’s a link between COVID-19 and kids with a severe inflammatory illness, and researchers try to pin down their contagiousness before schools reopen. New York hospitals have reported 73 suspected cases with two possible deaths from the inflammatory illness as of Friday evening. Read more »

    COVID-19 and Its Impact on African Economies: Q&A with Prof. Lemma Senbet


    Prof. Lemma Senbet. (Photo: @AERCAFRICA/Twitter)

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    Last week Professor Lemma Senbet, an Ethiopian-American financial economist and the William E. Mayer Chair Professor at University of Maryland, moderated a timely webinar titled ‘COVID-19 and African Economies: Global Implications and Actions.’ The well-attended online conference — hosted by the Center for Financial Policy at University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business on Friday, April 24th — featured guest speakers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as the World Bank who addressed “the global implications of the COVID-19 economic impact on developing and low-income countries, with Africa as an anchor.” In the following Q&A with Tadias Prof. Lemma, who is also the immediate former Executive Director of the African Economic Research Consortium based in Nairobi, Kenya, explains the worldwide economic fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the African continent, including Ethiopia. Read more »

    US unemployment surges to a Depression-era level of 14.7%

    By The Associated Press

    The coronavirus crisis has sent U.S. unemployment surging to 14.7%, a level last seen when the country was in the throes of the Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was assuring Americans that the only thing to fear was fear itself…The breathtaking collapse is certain to intensify the push-pull across the U.S. over how and when to ease stay-at-home restrictions. And it robs President Donald Trump of the ability to point to a strong economy as he runs for reelection. “The jobs report from hell is here,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, “one never seen before and unlikely to be seen again barring another pandemic or meteor hitting the Earth.” Read more »

    Hospitalizations continue to decline in New York, Cuomo says

    By CBS News

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the number of people newly diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19 has continued to decrease. “Overall the numbers are coming down,” he said. But he said 335 people died from the virus yesterday. “That’s 335 families,” Cuomo said. “You see this number is basically reducing, but not at a tremendous rate. The only thing that’s tremendous is the number of New Yorkers who’ve still passed away.” Read more »

    Los Angeles offers free testing to all county residents

    By The Washington Post

    All residents of Los Angeles County can access free coronavirus testing at city-run sites, Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said on Wednesday. Previously, the city had only offered testing to residents with symptoms as well as essential workers and people who lived or worked in nursing homes and other kinds of institutional facilities. In an announcement on Twitter, Garcetti said that priority would still be given to front-line workers and anyone experiencing symptoms, including cough, fever or shortness of breath. But the move, which makes Los Angeles the first major city in the country to offer such widespread testing, allows individuals without symptoms to be tested. Health experts have repeatedly said that mass testing is necessary to determine how many people have contracted the virus — and in particular, those who may not have experienced symptoms — and then begin to reopen the economy. Testing is by appointment only and can be arranged at one of the city’s 35 sites. Read more »

    Researchers Double U.S. COVID-19 Death Forecast

    By Reuters

    A newly revised coronavirus mortality model predicts nearly 135,000 Americans will die from COVID-19 by early August, almost double previous projections, as social-distancing measures for quelling the pandemic are increasingly relaxed, researchers said on Monday. The ominous new forecast from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) reflect “rising mobility in most U.S. states” with an easing of business closures and stay-at-home orders expected in 31 states by May 11, the institute said. Read more »

    Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 200,000, as world leaders commit to finding vaccine

    By NBC News

    The global coronavirus death toll surpassed 200,000 on Saturday, according to John Hopkins University data. The grim total was reached a day after presidents and prime ministers agreed to work together to develop new vaccines, tests and treatments at a virtual meeting with both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We will only halt COVID-19 through solidarity,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Countries, health partners, manufacturers, and the private sector must act together and ensure that the fruits of science and research can benefit everybody. As the U.S. coronavirus death tollpassed 51,000 people, according to an NBC News tally, President Donald Trump took no questions at his White House briefing on Friday, after widespread mockery for floating the idea that light, heat and disinfectants could be used to treat coronavirus patients.”

    Read more »

    Germany to start first coronavirus vaccine trial

    By DW

    German Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced the first clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine. The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), the regulatory authority which helps develop and authorizes vaccines in Germany, has given the go-ahead for the first clinical trial of BNT162b1, a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was developed by cancer researcher and immunologist Ugur Sahin and his team at pharmaceutical company BioNTech, and is based on their prior research into cancer immunology. Sahin previously taught at the University of Mainz before becoming the CEO of BioNTech. In a joint conference call on Wednesday with researchers from the Paul Ehrlich Institute, Sahin said BNT162b1 constitutes a so-called RNA vaccine. He explained that innocuous genetic information of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is transferred into human cells with the help of lipid nanoparticles, a non-viral gene delivery system. The cells then transform this genetic information into a protein, which should stimulate the body’s immune reaction to the novel coronavrius.

    Read more »

    Webinar on COVID-19 and Mental Health: Interview with Dr. Seble Frehywot

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    Dr. Seble Frehywot, an Associate Professor of Global Health & Health Policy at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and her colleague Dr. Yianna Vovides from Georgetown University will host an online forum next week on April 30th focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on mental health. Dr. Seble — who is also the Director of Global Health Equity On-Line Learning at George Washington University – told Tadias that the virtual conference titled “People’s Webinar: Addressing COVID-19 By Addressing Mental Health” is open to the public and available for viewing worldwide. Read more »

    Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with covid-19, are dying from strokes

    By The Washington Post

    Doctors sound alarm about patients in their 30s and 40s left debilitated or dead. Some didn’t even know they were infected. Read more »

    CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating

    By The Washington Post

    Even as states move ahead with plans to reopen their economies, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that a second wave of the novel coronavirus will be far more dire because it is likely to coincide with the start of flu season. “There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an interview with The Washington Post. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean…We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time,” he said. Having two simultaneous respiratory outbreaks would put unimaginable strain on the health-care system, he said. The first wave of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has already killed more than 42,000 people across the country. It has overwhelmed hospitals and revealed gaping shortages in test kits, ventilators and protective equipment for health-care workers.

    Read more »

    Americans at World Health Organization transmitted real-time information about coronavirus to Trump administration

    By The Washington Post

    More than a dozen U.S. researchers, physicians and public health experts, many of them from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were working full time at the Geneva headquarters of the World Health Organization as the novel coronavirus emerged late last year and transmitted real-time information about its discovery and spread in China to the Trump administration, according to U.S. and international officials. A number of CDC staff members are regularly detailed to work at the WHO in Geneva as part of a rotation that has operated for years. Senior Trump-appointed health officials also consulted regularly at the highest levels with the WHO as the crisis unfolded, the officials said. The presence of so many U.S. officials undercuts President Trump’s assertion that the WHO’s failure to communicate the extent of the threat, born of a desire to protect China, is largely responsible for the rapid spread of the virus in the United States. Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Dire Dawa Emerges as Newest Coronavirus Hot Spot

    By Africa News

    The case count as of April 20 had reached 111 according to health minister Lia Tadesse’s update for today. Ethiopia crossed the 100 mark over the weekend. All three cases recorded over the last 24-hours were recorded in the chartered city of Dire Dawa with patients between the ages of 11 – 18. Two of them had travel history from Djibouti. Till date, Ethiopia has 90 patients in treatment centers. The death toll is still at three with 16 recoveries. A patient is in intensive care. Read more »

    COVID-19: Interview with Dr. Tsion Firew, an Ethiopian Doctor on the Frontline in NYC


    Dr. Tsion Firew is Doctor of Emergency Medicine and Assistant Professor at Columbia University. She is also Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia. (Courtesy photo)

    By Liben Eabisa

    In New York City, which has now become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, working as a medical professional means literally going to a “war zone,” says physician Tsion Firew, a Doctor of Emergency Medicine and Assistant Professor at Columbia University, who has just recovered from COVID-19 and returned to work a few days ago. Indeed the statistics coming out of New York are simply shocking with the state recording a sharp increase in death toll this months surpassing 10,000 and growing. According to The New York Times: “The numbers brought into clearer focus the staggering toll the virus has already taken on the largest city in the United States, where deserted streets are haunted by the near-constant howl of ambulance sirens. Far more people have died in New York City, on a per-capita basis, than in Italy — the hardest-hit country in Europe.” At the heart of the solution both in the U.S. and around the world is more testing and adhering to social distancing rules until such time as a proper treatment and vaccine is discovered, says Dr. Tsion, who is also a Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia. Dr. Tsion adds that at this moment “we all as humanity have one enemy: the virus. And what’s going to win the fight is solidarity.” Listen to the interview »

    Ethiopia Opens Aid Transport Hub to Fight Covid-19

    By AFP

    Ethiopia and the United Nations on Tuesday opened a humanitarian transport hub at Addis Ababa airport to move supplies and aid workers across Africa to fight coronavirus. The arrangement, which relies on cargo services provided by Ethiopian Airlines, could also partially offset heavy losses Africa’s largest carrier is sustaining because of the pandemic. An initial shipment of 3 000 cubic metres of supplies – most of it personal protective equipment for health workers – will be distributed within the next week, said Steven Were Omamo, Ethiopia country director for the World Food Programme (WFP). “This is a really important platform in the response to Covid-19, because what it does is it allows us to move with speed and efficiency to respond to the needs as they are unfolding,” Omamo said, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus. The Addis gateway is one of eight global humanitarian hubs set up to facilitate movement of aid to fight Covid-19, according to WFP.

    Read more »

    Covid-19: Ethiopia to buy life insurance for health workers

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    The Ethiopian government is due to buy life insurance for health professionals in direct contact with Covid-19 patients. Health minister Lia Tadesse said on Tuesday that the government last week reached an agreement with the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation but did not disclose the value of the cover. The two sides are expected to sign an agreement this week to effect the insurance grant. According to the ministry, the life insurance grant is aimed at encouraging health experts who are the most vulnerable to the deadly coronavirus. Members of the Rapid Response Team will also benefit.

    Read more »

    U.N. says Saudi deportations of Ethiopian migrants risks spreading coronavirus

    By Reuters

    The United Nations said on Monday that deportations of illegal migrant workers by Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia risked spreading the coronavirus and it urged Riyadh to suspend the practice for the time being.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia’s capital launches door-to-door Covid-19 screening


    Getty Images

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa is due to begin a door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening across the city, Addis Ababa city administration has announced. City deputy Mayor, Takele Uma, on Saturday told local journalists that the mass screening and testing programme will be started Monday (April 13) first in districts which are identified as potentially most vulnerable to the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus. The aggressive city-wide screening measure intends to identify Covid-19 infected patients and thereby to arrest a potential virus spread within communities. He said, the mass screening will eventually be carried out in all 117 districts, locally known as woredas, of the city, which is home to an estimated 7 million inhabitants. According to the Mayor, the door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening will be conducted by more than 1,200 retired health professionals, who responded to government’s call on the retired to join the national fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

    Read more »

    Worldwide deaths from the coronavirus hit 100,000

    By The Associated Press

    The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has hit 100,000, according to the running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. The sad milestone comes as Christians around the globe mark a Good Friday unlike any other — in front of computer screens instead of in church pews. Meanwhile, some countries are tiptoeing toward reopening segments of their battered economies. Public health officials are warning people against violating the social distancing rules over Easter and allowing the virus to flare up again. Authorities are using roadblocks and other means to discourage travel.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    A network of technology professionals from the Ethiopian Diaspora — known as the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team – has been assisting the Ethiopian Ministry of Health since the nation’s first Coronavirus case was confirmed on March 13th. The COVID-19 Response Team has since grown into an army of more than a thousand volunteers. Mike Endale, a software developer based in Washington, D.C., is the main person behind the launch of this project. Read more »

    Ethiopia eyes replicating China’s successes in applying traditional medicine to contain COVID-19

    By CGTN Africa

    The Ethiopian government on Thursday expressed its keen interest to replicate China’s positive experience in terms of effectively applying traditional Chinese medicine to successfully contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the East African country.

    This came after high-level officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MoIT) as well as the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) held a video conference with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and researchers on ways of applying the TCM therapy towards controlling the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country, the MoIT disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday.

    “China, in particular, has agreed to provide to Ethiopia the two types of Chinese traditional medicines that the country applied to successfully treat the first two stages of the novel coronavirus,” a statement from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology read.

    Read more »

    WHO Director Slams ‘Racist’ Comments About COVID-19 Vaccine Testing


    The Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has angrily condemned recent comments made by scientists suggesting that a vaccine for COVID-19 should be tested in Africa as “racist” and a hangover from the “colonial mentality”. (Photo: WHO)

    By BBC

    The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has condemned as “racist” the comments by two French doctors who suggested a vaccine for the coronavirus could be tested in Africa.

    “Africa can’t and won’t be a testing ground for any vaccine,” said Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

    The doctors’ remarks during a TV debate sparked outrage, and they were accused of treating Africans like “human guinea pigs”.

    One of them later issued an apology.

    When asked about the doctors’ suggestion during the WHO’s coronavirus briefing, Dr Tedros became visibly angry, calling it a hangover from the “colonial mentality”.

    “It was a disgrace, appalling, to hear during the 21st Century, to hear from scientists, that kind of remark. We condemn this in the strongest terms possible, and we assure you that this will not happen,” he said.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia declares state of emergency to curb spread of COVID-19

    By Reuters

    Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the country to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus, his office said on Twitter. “Considering the gravity of the #COVID19, the government of Ethiopia has enacted a State of Emergency,” Abiy’s office said.

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

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    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

    Read more »

    The coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate

    By The Washington Post

    As the novel coronavirus sweeps across the United States, it appears to be infecting and killing black Americans at a disproportionately high rate, according to a Washington Post analysis of early data from jurisdictions across the country. The emerging stark racial disparity led the surgeon general Tuesday to acknowledge in personal terms the increased risk for African Americans amid growing demands that public-health officials release more data on the race of those who are sick, hospitalized and dying of a contagion that has killed more than 12,000 people in the United States. A Post analysis of what data is available and census demographics shows that counties that are majority-black have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are in the majority.

    Read more »

    In China, Wuhan’s lockdown officially ends after 11 weeks

    After 11 weeks — or 76 days — Wuhan’s lockdown is officially over. On Wednesday, Chinese authorities allowed residents to travel in and out of the besieged city where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in December. Many remnants of the months-long lockdown, however, remain. Wuhan’s 11 million residents will be able to leave only after receiving official authorization that they are healthy and haven’t recently been in contact with a coronavirus patient. To do so, the Chinese government is making use of its mandatory smartphone application that, along with other government surveillance, tracks the movement and health status of every person.

    Read more »

    U.S. hospitals facing ‘severe shortages’ of equipment and staff, watchdog says

    By The Washington Post

    As the official U.S. death toll approached 10,000, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams warned that this will be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”

    Read more »

    Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak

    By Tadias Staff

    PhantomALERT, a Washington D.C.-based technology company announced, that it’s offering a free application service to track, report and map COVID-19 outbreak hotspots in real time. In a recent letter to the DC government as well as the Ethiopian Embassy in the U.S. the Ethiopian-American owned business, which was launched in 2007, explained that over the past few days, they have redesigned their application to be “a dedicated coronavirus mapping, reporting and tracking application.” The letter to the Ethiopian Embassy, shared with Tadias, noted that PhantomALERT’s technology “will enable the Ethiopian government (and all other countries across the world) to locate symptomatic patients, provide medical assistance and alert communities of hotspots for the purpose of slowing down the spread of the Coronavirus.”

    Read more »

    2nd COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia

    By Dr. Lia Tadesse (Minister, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia)

    It is with great sadness that I announce the second death of a patient from #COVID19 in Ethiopia. The patient was admitted on April 2nd and was under strict medical follow up in the Intensive Care Unit. My sincere condolences to the family and loved ones.

    Read more »

    The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.


    People line up in their cars at the COVID-19 testing area at Roseland Community Hospital on April 3, 2020, in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

    By Chicago Tribune

    A new, different type of coronavirus test is coming that will help significantly in the fight to quell the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and scientists say. The first so-called serology test, which detects antibodies to the virus rather than the virus itself, was given emergency approval Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And several more are nearly ready, said Dr. Elizabeth McNally, director of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Center for Genetic Medicine.

    Read more »

    ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis

    By Tadias Staff

    Lately Ethiopian Airlines has been busy delivering much-needed medical supplies across Africa and emerging at the forefront of the continent’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic even as it has suspended most of its international passenger flights.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight

    By AFP

    Ethiopia’s government — like others in Africa — is confronting a stark ventilator shortage that could hobble its COVID-19 response. In a country of more than 100 million people, just 54 ventilators — out of around 450 total — had been set aside for COVID-19 patients as of this week, said Yakob Seman, director general of medical services at the health ministry.

    Read more »

    New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers


    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. (AP photo)

    By The Washington Post

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for a national enlistment of health-care workers organized by the U.S. military.

    Speaking on CNN’s New Day, he lamented that there has been no effort to mobilize doctors and nurses across the country and bring them to “the front” — first New York City and then other areas that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

    “If there’s not action by the president and the military literally in a matter of days to put in motion this vast mobilization,” de Blasio said, “then you’re going to see first hundreds and later thousands of Americans die who did not need to die.”

    He said he expects his city to be stretched for medical personnel starting Sunday, which he called “D-Day.” Many workers are out sick with the disease, he added, while others are “just stretched to the limit.”

    The mayor said he has told national leaders that they need to get on “wartime footing.”

    “The nation is in a peacetime stance while were actually in the middle of a war,” de Blasio said. “And if they don’t do something different in the next few days, they’re going to lose the window.”

    Read more »

    Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed

    By The Washington Post

    More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — a new record — as political and public health leaders put the economy in a deep freeze, keeping people at home and trying to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The past two weeks have seen more people file for unemployed claims than during the first six months of the Great Recession, a sign of how rapid, deep and painful the economic shutdown has been on many American families who are struggling to pay rent and health insurance costs in the midst of a pandemic. Job losses have skyrocketed as restaurants, hotel, gyms, and travel have shut down across the nation, but layoffs are also rising in manufacturing, warehousing and transportation, a sign of how widespread the pain of the coronavirus recession is. In March alone, 10.4 million Americans lost their jobs and applied for government aid, according to the latest Labor Department data, which includes claims filed through March 28. Many economists say the real number of people out work is likely even higher, since a lot of newly unemployed Americans haven’t been able to fill out a claim yet.

    Read more »

    U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II

    By The Washington Post

    The coronavirus outbreak sickening hundreds of thousands around the world and devastating the global economy is creating a challenge for the world not seen since World War II, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said late Tuesday. Speaking in a virtual news conference, Guterres said the world needs to show more solidarity and cooperation in fighting not only the medical aspects of the crisis but the economic fallout. The International Monetary Fund is predicting an economic recession worse than in 2008.

    Read more »

    US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,800 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.

    Read more »

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in the New York tri-state area has shared timely resources including COVID-19 safety information as well as national sources of financial support for families and small business owners.

    Read more »

    2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19

    By Tadias Staff

    The highly anticipated 2020 national election in Ethiopia has been canceled for now due to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that it has shelved its plans to hold the upcoming nationwide parliamentary polls on August 29th after an internal evaluation of the possible negative effect of the virus pandemic on its official activities.

    Read more »

    Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia on lockdown as coronavirus cases grow

    By The Washington Post

    Maryland, Virginia and the District issued “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, joining a growing list of states and cities mandating broad, enforceable restrictions on where residents can go in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    Read more »

    U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients

    By The Washington Post

    The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

    Read more »

    U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000

    By Bloomberg News

    A top U.S. infectious disease scientist said U.S. deaths could reach 200,000, but called it a moving target. New York’s fatalities neared 1,000, more than a third of the U.S. total.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: PM, WHO Director Discuss Coronavirus Response


    @fanatelevision/twitter

    By Tadias Staff

    Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed spoke with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, over the weekend regarding the Coronavirus response in Ethiopia and Africa in general.

    Read more »

    Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead

    By The Associated Press

    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths. While the U.S. now leads the world in reported infections — with more than 104,000 cases — five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

    Read more »

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    Read more »

    Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump

    By The Washington Post

    Masks that used to cost pennies now cost several dollars. Companies outside the traditional supply chain offer wildly varying levels of price and quality. Health authorities say they have few other choices to meet their needs in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ battle.

    Read more »

    Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus

    By VOA

    ADDIS ABABA – Health experts in Ethiopia are raising concern, as some religious leaders continue to host large gatherings despite government orders not to do so in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government ordered security forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopia has seen only 12 cases and no deaths from the virus, and authorities would like to keep it that way. But enforcing the orders has proven difficult as religious groups continue to meet and, according to religious leaders, fail to treat the risks seriously.

    Read more »

    U.S. deaths from coronavirus top 1,000

    By The Washington Post

    It began as a mysterious disease with frightening potential. Now, just two months after America’s first confirmed case, the country is grappling with a lethal reality: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate.

    Read more »

    A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy

    By The Washington Post

    A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

    Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

    “The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures. The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19


    Photo via amnesty.org

    As universities across Ethiopia close to avert spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to disclose measures they have taken to rescue 17 Amhara students from Dembi Dolo University in Western Oromia, who were abducted by unidentified people in November 2019 and have been missing since.

    The anguish of the students’ families is exacerbated by a phone and internet shutdown implemented in January across the western Oromia region further hampering their efforts to get information about their missing loved ones.

    “The sense of fear and uncertainty spreading across Ethiopia because of COVID-19 is exacerbating the anguish of these students’ families, who are desperate for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones four months after they were abducted,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa.

    “The Ethiopian authorities’ move to close universities in order to protect the lives of university students is commendable, but they must also take similarly concrete actions to locate and rescue the 17 missing students so that they too are reunited with their families.”

    Read more »

    UPDATE: New York City is now reporting 26,697 COVID-19 cases and 450 deaths.

    BY ABC7 NY

    Temporary hospital space in New York City will begin opening on Monday and more supplies are on the way as an already overwhelmed medical community anticipates even more coronavirus patients in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted 20 trucks were on the road delivering protective equipment to hospitals, including surgical masks, N95 masks, and hundreds more ventilators.

    Governor Cuomo added the temporary hospital in the Javits Center will open on Monday the same day that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York City.

    Read more »

    Related: New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard (REUTERS)

    L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    By Business Insider

    Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.

    “I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”

    In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.

    “I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.

    “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    By CNN

    Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has granted pardon to more than 4,000 prisoners in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    Sahle-Work Zewde announced the order in a tweet on Wednesday and said it would help prevent overcrowding in prisons.

    The directive only covers those given a maximum sentence of three years for minor crimes and those who were about to be released from jail, she said.

    There are 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ethiopia, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
    Authorities in the nation have put in place a raft of measures, including the closure of all borders except to those bringing in essential goods to contain the virus. The government has directed security officials to monitor and enforce a ban on large gatherings and overcrowded public transport to ensure social distancing.

    Read more »


    U.S. House passes $2 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill


    Watch: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York breaks down massive coronavirus aid package (MSNBC Video)

    By The Washington Post

    The House of Representatives voted Friday [March 27th] to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill that policy makers hope will blunt the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic, sending the legislation to President Trump for enactment. The legislation passed in dramatic fashion, approved on an overwhelming voice vote by lawmakers who’d been forced to return to Washington by a GOP colleague who had insisted on a quorum being present. Some lawmakers came from New York and other places where residents are supposed to be sheltering at home.

    Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Abiy seeks $150b for African virus response

    By AFP

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
    The pandemic “poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries,” Abiy’s office said in a statement, adding that Ethiopia was “working closely with other African countries” in preparing the aid request.

    The heavy debt burdens of many African countries leave them ill-equipped to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks, as the cost of servicing debt exceeds many countries’ health budgets, the statement said.

    Read more »

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)


    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough and the vast majority recover in 2-6 weeks but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health issues, the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    Read more »

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home


    A flier urging customers to remain home hangs at a turnstile as an MTA employee sanitizes surfaces at a subway station with bleach solutions due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe.

    Partisan divisions stalled efforts to pass a colossal aid package in Congress, and stocks fell again on Wall Street even after the Federal Reserve said it will lend to small and large businesses and local governments to help them through the crisis.

    Warning that the outbreak is accelerating, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action.

    “We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

    Read more »

    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)


    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    Read more »


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    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

  • COVID-19: Ethiopia Begins Vaccine Rollout

    A healthcare personnel receives the first dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine at the EKA Kottebe hospital as vaccination process begins in Addis Ababa on March 13, 2021. (Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu - Anadolu Agency )

    AA

    By Addis Getachew

    Alarming increase in infections over recent days, negligence costing Ethiopia dearly, says minister

    ADDIS ABABA — Hoping to curb a recent spike in infections, Ethiopia kicked off its COVID-19 vaccination drive on Saturday.

    Jabs were administered in several major cities, including the capital Addis Ababa, where top government officials and UN representatives attended a ceremony at the Eka General Hospital.

    Doctors, nurses, and support staff at the hospital, one of Ethiopia’s main COVID-19 treatment centers, were given shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    Ethiopia received its first batch of 2.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine last week under the COVAX initiative, a project co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines around the world.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Education Minister Getahun Mekuria said Ethiopia has been experiencing an alarming increase in infections over recent days.

    “Negligence is costing the nation dearly,” he warned.

    According to official data, Ethiopia’s COVID-19 case count is now over 172,500, including more than 2,500 fatalities and close to 142,000 recoveries.

    Authorities have sounded the alarm over declining treatment capacity in hospitals, with more than 600 intensive care units across the Horn of Africa nation still full of COVID-19 patients.

    The minister said the country’s first coronavirus case was detected exactly a year ago – a Japanese educator who came from Burkina Faso.

    “Today, more than 2,200 people have died due to the virus, and over 10,000 families have been directly affected by these deaths,” he said.

    Dereje Deguma, the country’s deputy health minister, spoke about how Ethiopia has worked hard to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

    “A year ago, our COVID-19 capacity was nil,” he said, referring to the fact that Ethiopia had no testing facilities and had to send specimens to South Africa.

    “Today, we have tested more than 2.2 million people using our own laboratories.”

    Boureima Hama Sambo, the WHO representative in the country, also lauded Ethiopia’s efforts to stem the spread of the virus.

    “COVID-19 has affected all aspects of our lives. Globally, its impact on the economy and the society is something that we will have to deal with in the years to come; and Ethiopia is no exception,” he said.

    “As a result of the high level of commitment from the government and the Health Ministry, Ethiopia has done well in mitigating the consequences of the pandemic.”

    Related:

    Ethiopia reports 1,483 new COVID-19 cases (March 14th, 2021)</strong>

    COVID-19: Ethiopian Airlines Delivers First Batches Of Vaccine In Ethiopia

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    COVID-19: Ethiopian Airlines Delivers First Batches Of Vaccine In Ethiopia

    Ethiopian Airlines conducted a major service this week amid progress with the vaccination program in Ethiopia. The airline delivered over two million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the country. (Getty Images)

    Simple Flying

    [This week] marked a milestone moment for Ethiopia and its flag carrier. The country received 2.184 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing initiative. These doses were brought in by Ethiopian Airlines.

    Getting the ball rolling

    In December, Ethiopian Airlines struck a deal with Cainiao Network, which is the logistics branch of the Alibaba Group. This agreement formed an international cold chain from China for the supply of pharmaceuticals, including vaccines. Subsequently, temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals are being delivered twice a week from Shenzhen, China, to Africa and beyond, via hubs in Dubai, UAE, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    Following this progress, millions of doses of the vaccine landed in Ethiopia today. Ethiopian Airlines shared the following about the delivery on its Twitter.

    “We have transported and delivered the first batch of COVID-19 Vaccines to Ethiopia. The shipment has arrived today and delivered to the Ethiopian MoH in a ceremony held in our cargo terminal. We will keep on providing this mission-critical service to save lives”

    A vital service

    WHO Ethiopia also tweeted how the delivery was a landmark event. The group confirmed the product that arrived is the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. It added that this move is a big step towards ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines amid the pandemic.

    Today, Ethiopian Airlines’ leadership said that the company is prepared to take a lead role in transporting vaccines across the globe. The airline’s cargo division expects demand for these operations to last for up to three years.

    Fitsum Abadi, the managing director of Ethiopian Cargo, told Reuters the following:

    “We have aircrafts converted from passengers by removing their seats, 16 of them, which are very wide aircrafts converted to transport vaccines.”


    The airline has been supporting its cargo department by utilizing otherwise dormant passenger aircraft amid the pandemic. (Getty Images)

    Rising to the task

    Altogether, Ethiopian’s cargo division has been scaling up services amid the global health crisis. Shipping has been a lifeline for carriers amid the severe downturn in passenger activity, and Ethiopian recognizes the potential.

    The airline swirly adapting its operations amid the rise of new opportunities. Early on in the pandemic, the operator took seats out of 25 of its passenger planes to increase capacity for cargo. As the world becomes more reliant on the delivery of products, the carrier is prepared to take on the challenge.

    Simple Flying reached out to Ethiopian Airlines for further comment on this landmark delivery this weekend. We will update the article with any further updates from the carrier.

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    Profile: Dr. Rahel Nardos, Meet the Voice of University of Minnesota’s New Global Focus on Women’s Health

    Dr. Rahel Nardos is connecting the University of Minnesota with low-resource locations to improve healthcare access. (Courtesy photo)

    Minnesota Monthly Magazine

    What do Minnesota’s Indigenous, immigrant, African American, and refugee communities have in common with women in low-resource countries around the world? They’re all chronically underserved by healthcare providers. So says Rahel Nardos, MD, the new director of global women’s health at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility (CGHSR). And she aims to change that.

    Nardos was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She came to the U.S. for college on a scholarship, then attended Yale Medical School, where she met her husband, Damien Fair, who was pursuing his PhD in neuroscience. They moved to Addis Ababa after completing their studies, where Nardos cared for women with obstetric fistulas, a devastating condition in which a hole forms in the birth canal following childbirth.

    “Having grown up there and seen the scarce situation, where the quality of medical care and education was compromised, that planted the seed for me to want to figure out ways we can create better health systems and build capacities in low-resource settings,” says Nardos.

    In Ethiopia, Nardos worked with victims of some of the world’s worst health inequities—including women ostracized from their communities due to a medical condition that was itself a result of inadequate obstetric and gynecological care. “That got me interested in specializing in urogynecology,” says Nardos, who pursued fellowship training and a master’s degree in clinical research at the same time. “I’m very interested in improving care through research.”

    She went on to work with Kaiser Permanente and Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, where she founded Footsteps to Healing, a program that supports surgical care for women with injuries after childbirth.

    In 2020, amid a global pandemic and widespread civil unrest, Nardos and Fair were jointly recruited by the University of Minnesota and made a new home in the Twin Cities. While Fair leads the U’s Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain, Nardos is bringing her trusted global partnerships to the table to help CGHSR form stronger and more effective relationships with healthcare programs and providers around the world.

    “I’m also looking at how we can leverage our collective passion and experience in underserved care right here in our communities,” she adds. “We have people right here who don’t have access to quality care, such as immigrants and people with cultural practices that may compromise their health. We want to create programs that tap into our collective experiences, talents, passions, and partnership models to do meaningful work both globally and locally.”

    Nardos is drawing on the U’s resources and expertise in areas spanning preventive care, health policy, leadership building, clinical capacity building, and advances in telehealth to improve care for women in low-resource settings. The goal? “To help support our partners and train our residents and fellows so they become providers who care about health equity and disparities, and are actively working to address it in their own communities,” says Nardos.

    She’s even taking a mindfulness course at the U’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, and thinking about how to translate what she’s learning into cognitive strategies to help manage pain and irritative bladder symptoms in patients with urogynecological conditions.

    Though she’s mining and connecting resources across a wide range of university programs, Nardos is crystal clear on her mission: to have a tangible impact in the lives of real, underserved women, far from the halls of academia. “How do we define success? We have to be careful not to define it academically—how many papers you publish or grants you get,” she notes. “How is it translating into improving health outcomes on the ground?”

    Learn more about Dr. Nardos and the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility at globalhealthcenter.umn.edu

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    In Aurora, Colorado An Ethiopian Church Becomes A Trusted COVID Vaccination Site

    A woman receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine during an equity clinic held at Saint Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Aurora, Colorado on Feb. 13, 2021. (Photo: KUNC)

    KUNC

    For months, the halls of Saint Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Church have stood mostly empty.

    COVID-19 restrictions prevent the congregation from sharing meals. Services are mainly held online. Holidays come and go without the usual mass celebrations.

    But on a recent, chilly morning, the church’s cafeteria was once again buzzing with activity. On the menu: 300 COVID-19 vaccines specifically reserved for congregants and other immigrant and refugee residents from the community.

    “I’m very happy,” said Mergersa Edeye, a longtime member of the congregation, after getting his vaccine. “Many of us wouldn’t have this opportunity otherwise.”

    The church partnered with Democratic state Rep. Naquetta Ricks and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to become an equity clinic — one of dozens taking place across the state. The pop-up vaccine distribution sites are designed to help quash racial disparities emerging in the rollout.


    Congregants walk through the parking lot of Saint Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Aurora. (KUNC)


    A man exits the front door of Saint Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Aurora. (KUNC)

    For church leaders, the decision to host the clinic was easy.

    Girma Tilahun, vice chair of the church’s board, said many congregants have encountered language or transportation barriers when trying to make appointments elsewhere. Having the clinic on site eliminates excuses not to get vaccinated.

    “We educate everyone that the vaccine is important for them, just like masks,” Tilahun said. “They all know that (they need to get vaccinated) if they want to come back to the church. If they don’t take the vaccine, they’ll have to stay home.”

    Still, hesitancy has been an issue. A husband and wife recently came to Tilahun and said they were suspicious of the 15-minute wait period required for all patients.

    Tilahun, along with a nurse in the congregation, were able to explain it was just a safety precaution. Feeling assured, the couple went ahead with getting their doses, Tilahun said.

    “It’s a small percentage (of those who don’t want it),” he said. “Most of our members do.”

    Yohannes Feye, one of Saint Mary’s priests, thought getting the vaccine would be a bigger deal. But when he rolled up his sleeve during the church’s equity clinic, he was shocked.

    “It’s like a regular flu vaccination,” Feye said. “I didn’t feel anything.”

    Feye said the pandemic has hit his congregation hard. A lot of people have gotten sick with COVID-19. A few have died.

    He wanted to get vaccinated to encourage others to do the same.

    “It’s good for the community. It’s good for the country. It’s good for a lot of people’s health so we stop transmitting the virus to each other,” Feye said. ‘So I will advocate as much as I can.”

    Read the full article at kunc.org »

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    COVID-19: Ethiopia Says It Has Secured 9 Million Doses of Vaccines Till April

    Ethiopia has secured nine million doses of COVID-19 vaccines up until April and hopes to inoculate at least a fifth of its 110 million people by the end of the year, the health minister said on Tuesday. (Photo: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    THE LATEST UPDATE:

    Updated: February 12th, 2021

  • Ethiopia says it has secured 9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines till April
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  • In U.S. every state has its own COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Find the one for yours here.
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  • Cases and deaths in the U.S. | Cases and deaths worldwide
  • Ethiopia Coronavirus Cases Reach 117,242
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  • Ethiopia Coronavirus Cases Reach 100,327
  • Virus cases surpass 90K as schools reopen in Ethiopia
  • Refusing to wear a mask in Ethiopia could cost you two years in jail
  • Ethiopia: Schools to Start Regular Face to Face Classes With Covid-19 Precautions
  • 5 Ethiopian footballers contract coronavirus
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  • IN PICTURES: On the Frontline Against Covid-19 in Ethiopia – A Photo Essay
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  • Ethiopian farmers slaughter thousands of chicks as COVID hits demand
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  • African Development Fund approves $165 m grant for Ethiopia’s national COVID-19 emergency response
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  • COVID19 Contact Tracing is a race. But few U.S. states say how fast they’re running
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  • World Bank Provides Additional Support to Help Ethiopia Mitigate Economic Impacts of COVID-19
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  • COVID-19 Cases Pass 10 Million Worldwide
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  • Ethiopia: PM Abiy Writes COVID-19 Related Op-Ed on World Economic Forum Blog
  • Virus deaths in D.C., Virginia and Maryland surpass 2,000
  • IMF Approves $411M in Coronavirus Aid for Ethiopia
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  • Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 200,000, as world leaders commit to finding vaccine
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  • Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health Holds Webinar With Diaspora on COVID-19 Response
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  • A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy
  • Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19
  • Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    Ethiopia says it has secured 9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines till April

    By Reuters

    Ethiopia has secured nine million doses of COVID-19 vaccines up until April and hopes to inoculate at least a fifth of its 110 million people by the end of the year, the health minister said on Tuesday. “For now up to April we have been allocated close to nine million doses,” Lia Tadesse said. “Within this year we want to make sure we get at least 20% of the population,” she told Reuters. Ethiopia was open to possible donations of vaccines, Lia added, and said the country was not doing any procurement of doses independently but only through the COVAX facility. COVAX is co-led by the GAVI alliance which secures vaccines for poor countries, the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the U.N. Children’s Fund.

    Read more »

    Survey identifies troubling effect of pandemic on where women give birth in Ethiopia

    In urban areas, delivery rates in lower-level health facilities increased and hospital deliveries decreased after social distancing restrictions were put in place

    By Johns Hopkins Magazine

    A new study from the Bloomberg School of Public Health and researchers at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia has found that as of June, the proportion of women in urban areas—where COVID-19 rates were highest—who delivered in lower-level health facilities significantly increased while deliveries in hospitals declined. A pregnant woman’s place of delivery is a key maternal health service component that has a direct impact on pregnancy and newborn outcomes, and researchers have been monitoring how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting women’s delivery patterns. The analysis was conducted using data from the Performance Monitoring for Action Ethiopia survey, led by Linnea Zimmerman, assistant professor in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health at the Bloomberg School, and Solomon Shiferaw and Assefa Seme at Addis Ababa University. The project is managed by Johns Hopkins global health affiliate Jhpiego and the Gates Institute. Results from the analysis also showed that at the national level, there was no difference in the proportion of women who delivered in a hospital and home delivery rates remained unchanged. Looking within urban areas, women who delivered during May and June, after COVID-19 restrictions started, were significantly less likely to deliver in a hospital relative to women who delivered prior to the pandemic.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia Coronavirus Cases Reach 143,566

    By Ministry of Health

    In Ethiopia, as of February 9th, 2021, there have been 143,566 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Read more »

    Assessing Ethiopian women’s vulnerability to the COVID-19 pandemic

    By World Bank

    The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has devastating health and economic impacts globally and has disproportionately affected vulnerable groups. As highlighted in a blog published at the onset of the pandemic, the coronavirus is not gender-blind and pre-existing gender gaps may intensify during and after the pandemic due to worsening human capital, economic, and women’s agency outcomes.

    What can high-frequency phone survey data tell us about the gendered effects of the pandemic in Ethiopia?

    The short answer: A lot!

    Read more »

    How Ethiopia prepared its health workforce for the COVID-19 response


    Photo via the World Health Organization

    By The World Health Organization

    In a busy intensive care unit in Eka Kotebe General Hospital, Addis Ababa, Dr Samuel Getnet, 28, a newly-recruited young and energetic physician anxiously monitors the mechanical ventilators, an indispensable form of life support for COVID-19 patients with respiratory distress.

    “I never thought my professional journey would bring me to the place where I’m today—at the center of COVID-19 pandemic management team—treating and caring for the most severely ill patients who critically need my support and care. Despite the challenges and risks, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my people at this critical time,” he said.

    Dr Getnet is a general practitioner who came on board as part of the surge capacity planning for human resources announced by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health in February 2020. Before starting his duty in the intensive care unit, he received in-person training from the World Health Organization (WHO), with practical sessions taking place in the hospital. The topics he covered include case management, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), infection prevention and control (IPC), and the application and use of mechanical ventilation. He also benefited from online WHO resources such as Open WHO.org.

    Read more »

    ‘Relieved’: US health workers start getting COVID-19 vaccine


    Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo)

    By The Associated Press

    The biggest vaccination campaign in U.S. history kicked off Monday as health workers rolled up their sleeves for shots to protect them from COVID-19 and start beating back the pandemic — a day of optimism even as the nation’s death toll closed in on 300,000.

    “I feel hopeful today. Relieved,” critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay said after getting a shot in the arm at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York.

    With a countdown of “3-2-1,” workers at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center gave the first injections to applause.

    And in New Orleans, Steven Lee, an intensive care unit pharmacist at Ochsner Medical Center, summed up the moment as he got his own vaccination: “We can finally prevent the disease as opposed to treating it.”

    Other hospitals around the country, from Rhode Island to Texas, unloaded precious frozen vials of vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech, with staggered deliveries set throughout the day and Tuesday. A few other countries have authorized the vaccine, including Britain, which started vaccinating people last week, and Canada, which began doing so on Monday.

    For health care workers, who along with nursing home residents will be first in line for vaccination, hope is tempered by grief and the sheer exhaustion of months spent battling a coronavirus that still is surging in the U.S. and around the world.

    Read more »

    IN PICTURES: On the Frontline Against Covid-19 in Ethiopia – A Photo Essay


    Frontline workers at the Eka Kotebe hospital. (Photo by Yonas Tadesse)

    By Yonas Tadesse

    The first case of Covid-19 in Ethiopia was reported on 13 March, when a team of first responders took in a 48-year-old Japanese man. Having never seen anything like his condition, they did not know what to prepare for, and thus started their new normal of battling the coronavirus in Ethiopia.

    Doctors, nurses, janitors, security guards and drivers donned hats they had never dreamed of wearing as they worked to develop systems and techniques to minimise the damage from the virus – often at the cost of their health, their home lives, their reputations, and sometimes their lives.

    Read more and see the photos at theguardian.com »

    FACTBOX- Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 67.72 million, death toll at 1,548,575

    By Reuters

    More than 67.72 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,548,575​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

    Read more »

    Africa’s cases of COVID-19 top 1 million

    By Reuters

    Africa’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have surpassed 1 million, a Reuters tally showed on Thursday, as the disease began to spread rapidly through a continent whose relative isolation has so far spared it the worst of the pandemic. The continent recorded 1,003,056 cases, of which 21,983 have died and 676,395 recovered. South Africa – which is the world’s fifth worst-hit nation and makes up more than half of sub-Saharan Africa’s case load – has recorded 538,184 cases since its first case on March 5, the health ministry said on Thursday. Low levels of testing in several countries, apart from South Africa, mean Africa’s infection rates are likely to be higher than reported, experts say. Read more »

    COVID19 Contact Tracing is a race. But few U.S. states say how fast they’re running

    Someone — let’s call her Person A — catches the coronavirus. It’s a Monday. She goes about life, unaware her body is incubating a killer. By perhaps Thursday, she’s contagious. Only that weekend does she come down with a fever and get tested. What happens next is critical. Public health workers have a small window of time to track down everyone Person A had close contact with over the past few days. Because by the coming Monday or Tuesday, some of those people — though they don’t yet have symptoms — could also be spreading the virus. Welcome to the sprint known as contact tracing, the process of reaching potentially exposed people as fast as possible and persuading them to quarantine. The race is key to controlling the pandemic ahead of a vaccine, experts say. But most places across the United States aren’t making public how fast or well they’re running it, leaving Americans in the dark about how their governments are mitigating the risk. An exception is the District of Columbia, which recently added metrics on contact tracing to its online dashboard. A few weeks ago, the District was still too overwhelmed to try to ask all of those who tested positive about their contacts. Now, after building a staff of several hundred contact tracers, D.C. officials say they’re making that attempt within 24 hours of a positive test report in about 98 percent of cases. For months, every U.S. state has posted daily numbers on coronavirus testing — along with charts of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. So far, only one state, Oregon, posts similar data about contact tracing. Officials in New York say they plan to begin publishing such metrics in the coming weeks.

    Read more »

    Coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpass 2.5 million

    By The Washington Post

    June 28th, 2020

    Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 2.5 million on Sunday morning as a devastating new wave of infections continued to bear down throughout the country’s South and West. Florida, Texas and Arizona are fast emerging as the country’s latest epicenters after reporting record numbers of new infections for weeks in a row. Positivity rates and hospitalizations have also spiked. Global cases of covid-19 exceeded 10 million, according to a count maintained by Johns Hopkins University, a measure of the power and spread of a pandemic that has caused vast human suffering, devastated the world’s economy and still threatens vulnerable populations in rich and poor nations alike.
    Read more »

    WHO warns of ‘new and dangerous phase’ as coronavirus accelerates; Americas now hardest hit

    By The Washington Post

    The World Health Organization warned Friday that “the world is in a new and dangerous phase” as the global pandemic accelerates. The world recorded about 150,000 new cases on Thursday, the largest rise yet in a single day, according to the WHO. Nearly half of these infections were in the Americas, as new cases continue to surge in the United States, Brazil and across Latin America. More than 8.5 million coronavirus cases and at least 454,000 deaths have been reported worldwide. As confirmed cases and hospitalizations climb in the U.S., new mask requirements are prompting faceoffs between officials who seek to require face coverings and those, particularly conservatives, who oppose such measures. Several studies this month support wearing masks to curb coronavirus transmission, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend their use as a protective measure. Read more »

    World Bank Provides Additional Support to Help Ethiopia Mitigate Economic Impacts of COVID-19

    JUNE 18, 2020

    The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved $250 million ($125 million grant and $125 million credit) in supplemental financing for the ongoing Second Ethiopia Growth and Competitiveness Programmatic Development Policy Financing. This funding is geared towards helping Ethiopia to revitalize the economy by broadening the role of the private sector and attaining a more sustainable development path.

    “The COVID 19 pandemic is expected to severely impact Ethiopia’s economy. The austerity of the required containment measures, along with disruptions to air travel and the collapse in international demand for goods exported by Ethiopia are already taking a toll on the economy,” said Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea. “Additionally, an estimated 1.8 million jobs are at risk, and the incomes and livelihoods of several million informal workers, self-employed individuals and farmers are expected to be affected.”

    The supplemental financing will help to mitigate the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on the Government’s reform agenda. Specifically, the program is intended to help address some of the unanticipated financing needs the Government of Ethiopia is facing due to the COVID-19 crisis. Additional financing needs are estimated to be approximately $1.5 billion, as revenue collection is expected to weaken, and additional expenditure is needed to mitigate the public health and economic impacts of the crisis.

    Read more »

    Once the coronavirus epicenter in the U.S., New York City begins to reopen


    After three months of a coronavirus crisis followed by protests and unrest, New York City is trying to turn a page when a limited range of industries reopen Monday, June 8, 2020. (AP Photo)

    100 days after the first coronavirus case was confirmed there, the city that was once the epicenter of America’s coronavirus pandemic began to reopen. The number of cases in New York has plunged, but health officials fear that a week of protests on the streets could bring a new wave.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) estimated that between 200,000 to 400,000 workers returned to work throughout the city’s five boroughs.

    “All New Yorkers should be proud you got us to this day,” de Blasio said at a news conference at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a manufacturing hub.

    Read more »

    US Deaths From Coronavirus Surpass 100,000 Milestone

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. surpassed a jarring milestone Wednesday in the coronavirus pandemic: 100,000 deaths. That number is the best estimate and most assuredly an undercount. But it represents the stark reality that more Americans have died from the virus than from the Vietnam and Korea wars combined. “It’s a striking reminder of how dangerous this virus can be,” said Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington. The true death toll from the virus, which emerged in China late last year and was first reported in the U.S. in January, is widely believed to be significantly higher, with experts saying many victims died of COVID-19 without ever being tested for it. Read more »

    Ethiopia Coronavirus Cases Reach 5,846

    By Dr. Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health

    Report #111 የኢትዮጵያ የኮሮና ቫይረስ ሁኔታ መግለጫ. Status update on #COVID19Ethiopia. Total confirmed cases [as of June 29th, 2020]: 5,846 Read more »

    New York Times Memorializes Coronavirus Victims as U.S. Death Toll Nears 100,000

    America is fast approaching a grim milestone in the coronavirus outbreak — each figure here represents one of the nearly 100,000 lives lost so far. Read more »

    Spotlight: Ethiopia’s First Private Ambulance System Tebita Adds Services Addressing COVID19

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    Twelve year ago when Kibret Abebe quit his job as a nurse anesthetist at Black Lion Hospital and sold his house to launch Tebita Ambulance — Ethiopia’s First Private Ambulance System — his friends and family were understandably concerned about his decisions. But today Tebita operates over 20 advanced life support ambulances with approval from the Ministry of Health and stands as the country’s premier Emergency Medical Service (EMS). Tebita has since partnered with East Africa Emergency Services, an Ethiopian and American joint venture that Kibret also owns, with the aim “to establish the first trauma center and air ambulance system in Ethiopia.” This past month Tebita announced their launch of new services in Addis Abeba to address the COVID-19 pandemic and are encouraging Ethiopians residing in the U.S. to utilize Tebita for regular home check-ins on elderly family members as well as vulnerable individuals with pre-existing conditions. The following is an audio of the interview with Kibret Abebe and Laura Davis of Tebita Ambulance and East Africa Emergency Services: Read more »

    WHO reports most coronavirus cases in a day as cases approach five million

    By Reuters

    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization expressed concern on Wednesday about the rising number of new coronavirus cases in poor countries, even as many rich nations have begun emerging from lockdown. The global health body said 106,000 new cases of infections of the novel coronavirus had been recorded in the past 24 hours, the most in a single day since the outbreak began. “We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference. “We are very concerned about rising cases in low and middle income countries.” Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies programme, said: “We will soon reach the tragic milestone of 5 million cases.” Read more »

    WHO head says vaccines, medicines must be fairly shared to beat COVID-19

    By Reuters

    Scientists and researchers are working at “breakneck” speed to find solutions for COVID-19 but the pandemic can only be beaten with equitable distribution of medicines and vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday. “Traditional market models will not deliver at the scale needed to cover the entire globe,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing in Geneva.

    Read more »

    Doctors face new urgency to solve children and coronavirus puzzle

    By Axios

    Solving the mystery of how the coronavirus impacts children has gained sudden steam, as doctors try to determine if there’s a link between COVID-19 and kids with a severe inflammatory illness, and researchers try to pin down their contagiousness before schools reopen. New York hospitals have reported 73 suspected cases with two possible deaths from the inflammatory illness as of Friday evening. Read more »

    COVID-19 and Its Impact on African Economies: Q&A with Prof. Lemma Senbet


    Prof. Lemma Senbet. (Photo: @AERCAFRICA/Twitter)

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    Last week Professor Lemma Senbet, an Ethiopian-American financial economist and the William E. Mayer Chair Professor at University of Maryland, moderated a timely webinar titled ‘COVID-19 and African Economies: Global Implications and Actions.’ The well-attended online conference — hosted by the Center for Financial Policy at University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business on Friday, April 24th — featured guest speakers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as the World Bank who addressed “the global implications of the COVID-19 economic impact on developing and low-income countries, with Africa as an anchor.” In the following Q&A with Tadias Prof. Lemma, who is also the immediate former Executive Director of the African Economic Research Consortium based in Nairobi, Kenya, explains the worldwide economic fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the African continent, including Ethiopia. Read more »

    US unemployment surges to a Depression-era level of 14.7%

    By The Associated Press

    The coronavirus crisis has sent U.S. unemployment surging to 14.7%, a level last seen when the country was in the throes of the Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was assuring Americans that the only thing to fear was fear itself…The breathtaking collapse is certain to intensify the push-pull across the U.S. over how and when to ease stay-at-home restrictions. And it robs President Donald Trump of the ability to point to a strong economy as he runs for reelection. “The jobs report from hell is here,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, “one never seen before and unlikely to be seen again barring another pandemic or meteor hitting the Earth.” Read more »

    Hospitalizations continue to decline in New York, Cuomo says

    By CBS News

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the number of people newly diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19 has continued to decrease. “Overall the numbers are coming down,” he said. But he said 335 people died from the virus yesterday. “That’s 335 families,” Cuomo said. “You see this number is basically reducing, but not at a tremendous rate. The only thing that’s tremendous is the number of New Yorkers who’ve still passed away.” Read more »

    Los Angeles offers free testing to all county residents

    By The Washington Post

    All residents of Los Angeles County can access free coronavirus testing at city-run sites, Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said on Wednesday. Previously, the city had only offered testing to residents with symptoms as well as essential workers and people who lived or worked in nursing homes and other kinds of institutional facilities. In an announcement on Twitter, Garcetti said that priority would still be given to front-line workers and anyone experiencing symptoms, including cough, fever or shortness of breath. But the move, which makes Los Angeles the first major city in the country to offer such widespread testing, allows individuals without symptoms to be tested. Health experts have repeatedly said that mass testing is necessary to determine how many people have contracted the virus — and in particular, those who may not have experienced symptoms — and then begin to reopen the economy. Testing is by appointment only and can be arranged at one of the city’s 35 sites. Read more »

    Researchers Double U.S. COVID-19 Death Forecast

    By Reuters

    A newly revised coronavirus mortality model predicts nearly 135,000 Americans will die from COVID-19 by early August, almost double previous projections, as social-distancing measures for quelling the pandemic are increasingly relaxed, researchers said on Monday. The ominous new forecast from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) reflect “rising mobility in most U.S. states” with an easing of business closures and stay-at-home orders expected in 31 states by May 11, the institute said. Read more »

    Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 200,000, as world leaders commit to finding vaccine

    By NBC News

    The global coronavirus death toll surpassed 200,000 on Saturday, according to John Hopkins University data. The grim total was reached a day after presidents and prime ministers agreed to work together to develop new vaccines, tests and treatments at a virtual meeting with both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We will only halt COVID-19 through solidarity,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Countries, health partners, manufacturers, and the private sector must act together and ensure that the fruits of science and research can benefit everybody. As the U.S. coronavirus death tollpassed 51,000 people, according to an NBC News tally, President Donald Trump took no questions at his White House briefing on Friday, after widespread mockery for floating the idea that light, heat and disinfectants could be used to treat coronavirus patients.”

    Read more »

    Germany to start first coronavirus vaccine trial

    By DW

    German Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced the first clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine. The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), the regulatory authority which helps develop and authorizes vaccines in Germany, has given the go-ahead for the first clinical trial of BNT162b1, a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was developed by cancer researcher and immunologist Ugur Sahin and his team at pharmaceutical company BioNTech, and is based on their prior research into cancer immunology. Sahin previously taught at the University of Mainz before becoming the CEO of BioNTech. In a joint conference call on Wednesday with researchers from the Paul Ehrlich Institute, Sahin said BNT162b1 constitutes a so-called RNA vaccine. He explained that innocuous genetic information of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is transferred into human cells with the help of lipid nanoparticles, a non-viral gene delivery system. The cells then transform this genetic information into a protein, which should stimulate the body’s immune reaction to the novel coronavrius.

    Read more »

    Webinar on COVID-19 and Mental Health: Interview with Dr. Seble Frehywot

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    Dr. Seble Frehywot, an Associate Professor of Global Health & Health Policy at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and her colleague Dr. Yianna Vovides from Georgetown University will host an online forum next week on April 30th focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on mental health. Dr. Seble — who is also the Director of Global Health Equity On-Line Learning at George Washington University – told Tadias that the virtual conference titled “People’s Webinar: Addressing COVID-19 By Addressing Mental Health” is open to the public and available for viewing worldwide. Read more »

    Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with covid-19, are dying from strokes

    By The Washington Post

    Doctors sound alarm about patients in their 30s and 40s left debilitated or dead. Some didn’t even know they were infected. Read more »

    CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating

    By The Washington Post

    Even as states move ahead with plans to reopen their economies, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that a second wave of the novel coronavirus will be far more dire because it is likely to coincide with the start of flu season. “There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an interview with The Washington Post. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean…We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time,” he said. Having two simultaneous respiratory outbreaks would put unimaginable strain on the health-care system, he said. The first wave of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has already killed more than 42,000 people across the country. It has overwhelmed hospitals and revealed gaping shortages in test kits, ventilators and protective equipment for health-care workers.

    Read more »

    Americans at World Health Organization transmitted real-time information about coronavirus to Trump administration

    By The Washington Post

    More than a dozen U.S. researchers, physicians and public health experts, many of them from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were working full time at the Geneva headquarters of the World Health Organization as the novel coronavirus emerged late last year and transmitted real-time information about its discovery and spread in China to the Trump administration, according to U.S. and international officials. A number of CDC staff members are regularly detailed to work at the WHO in Geneva as part of a rotation that has operated for years. Senior Trump-appointed health officials also consulted regularly at the highest levels with the WHO as the crisis unfolded, the officials said. The presence of so many U.S. officials undercuts President Trump’s assertion that the WHO’s failure to communicate the extent of the threat, born of a desire to protect China, is largely responsible for the rapid spread of the virus in the United States. Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Dire Dawa Emerges as Newest Coronavirus Hot Spot

    By Africa News

    The case count as of April 20 had reached 111 according to health minister Lia Tadesse’s update for today. Ethiopia crossed the 100 mark over the weekend. All three cases recorded over the last 24-hours were recorded in the chartered city of Dire Dawa with patients between the ages of 11 – 18. Two of them had travel history from Djibouti. Till date, Ethiopia has 90 patients in treatment centers. The death toll is still at three with 16 recoveries. A patient is in intensive care. Read more »

    COVID-19: Interview with Dr. Tsion Firew, an Ethiopian Doctor on the Frontline in NYC


    Dr. Tsion Firew is Doctor of Emergency Medicine and Assistant Professor at Columbia University. She is also Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia. (Courtesy photo)

    By Liben Eabisa

    In New York City, which has now become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, working as a medical professional means literally going to a “war zone,” says physician Tsion Firew, a Doctor of Emergency Medicine and Assistant Professor at Columbia University, who has just recovered from COVID-19 and returned to work a few days ago. Indeed the statistics coming out of New York are simply shocking with the state recording a sharp increase in death toll this months surpassing 10,000 and growing. According to The New York Times: “The numbers brought into clearer focus the staggering toll the virus has already taken on the largest city in the United States, where deserted streets are haunted by the near-constant howl of ambulance sirens. Far more people have died in New York City, on a per-capita basis, than in Italy — the hardest-hit country in Europe.” At the heart of the solution both in the U.S. and around the world is more testing and adhering to social distancing rules until such time as a proper treatment and vaccine is discovered, says Dr. Tsion, who is also a Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia. Dr. Tsion adds that at this moment “we all as humanity have one enemy: the virus. And what’s going to win the fight is solidarity.” Listen to the interview »

    Ethiopia Opens Aid Transport Hub to Fight Covid-19

    By AFP

    Ethiopia and the United Nations on Tuesday opened a humanitarian transport hub at Addis Ababa airport to move supplies and aid workers across Africa to fight coronavirus. The arrangement, which relies on cargo services provided by Ethiopian Airlines, could also partially offset heavy losses Africa’s largest carrier is sustaining because of the pandemic. An initial shipment of 3 000 cubic metres of supplies – most of it personal protective equipment for health workers – will be distributed within the next week, said Steven Were Omamo, Ethiopia country director for the World Food Programme (WFP). “This is a really important platform in the response to Covid-19, because what it does is it allows us to move with speed and efficiency to respond to the needs as they are unfolding,” Omamo said, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus. The Addis gateway is one of eight global humanitarian hubs set up to facilitate movement of aid to fight Covid-19, according to WFP.

    Read more »

    Covid-19: Ethiopia to buy life insurance for health workers

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    The Ethiopian government is due to buy life insurance for health professionals in direct contact with Covid-19 patients. Health minister Lia Tadesse said on Tuesday that the government last week reached an agreement with the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation but did not disclose the value of the cover. The two sides are expected to sign an agreement this week to effect the insurance grant. According to the ministry, the life insurance grant is aimed at encouraging health experts who are the most vulnerable to the deadly coronavirus. Members of the Rapid Response Team will also benefit.

    Read more »

    U.N. says Saudi deportations of Ethiopian migrants risks spreading coronavirus

    By Reuters

    The United Nations said on Monday that deportations of illegal migrant workers by Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia risked spreading the coronavirus and it urged Riyadh to suspend the practice for the time being.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia’s capital launches door-to-door Covid-19 screening


    Getty Images

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa is due to begin a door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening across the city, Addis Ababa city administration has announced. City deputy Mayor, Takele Uma, on Saturday told local journalists that the mass screening and testing programme will be started Monday (April 13) first in districts which are identified as potentially most vulnerable to the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus. The aggressive city-wide screening measure intends to identify Covid-19 infected patients and thereby to arrest a potential virus spread within communities. He said, the mass screening will eventually be carried out in all 117 districts, locally known as woredas, of the city, which is home to an estimated 7 million inhabitants. According to the Mayor, the door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening will be conducted by more than 1,200 retired health professionals, who responded to government’s call on the retired to join the national fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

    Read more »

    Worldwide deaths from the coronavirus hit 100,000

    By The Associated Press

    The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has hit 100,000, according to the running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. The sad milestone comes as Christians around the globe mark a Good Friday unlike any other — in front of computer screens instead of in church pews. Meanwhile, some countries are tiptoeing toward reopening segments of their battered economies. Public health officials are warning people against violating the social distancing rules over Easter and allowing the virus to flare up again. Authorities are using roadblocks and other means to discourage travel.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    A network of technology professionals from the Ethiopian Diaspora — known as the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team – has been assisting the Ethiopian Ministry of Health since the nation’s first Coronavirus case was confirmed on March 13th. The COVID-19 Response Team has since grown into an army of more than a thousand volunteers. Mike Endale, a software developer based in Washington, D.C., is the main person behind the launch of this project. Read more »

    Ethiopia eyes replicating China’s successes in applying traditional medicine to contain COVID-19

    By CGTN Africa

    The Ethiopian government on Thursday expressed its keen interest to replicate China’s positive experience in terms of effectively applying traditional Chinese medicine to successfully contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the East African country.

    This came after high-level officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MoIT) as well as the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) held a video conference with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and researchers on ways of applying the TCM therapy towards controlling the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country, the MoIT disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday.

    “China, in particular, has agreed to provide to Ethiopia the two types of Chinese traditional medicines that the country applied to successfully treat the first two stages of the novel coronavirus,” a statement from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology read.

    Read more »

    WHO Director Slams ‘Racist’ Comments About COVID-19 Vaccine Testing


    The Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has angrily condemned recent comments made by scientists suggesting that a vaccine for COVID-19 should be tested in Africa as “racist” and a hangover from the “colonial mentality”. (Photo: WHO)

    By BBC

    The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has condemned as “racist” the comments by two French doctors who suggested a vaccine for the coronavirus could be tested in Africa.

    “Africa can’t and won’t be a testing ground for any vaccine,” said Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

    The doctors’ remarks during a TV debate sparked outrage, and they were accused of treating Africans like “human guinea pigs”.

    One of them later issued an apology.

    When asked about the doctors’ suggestion during the WHO’s coronavirus briefing, Dr Tedros became visibly angry, calling it a hangover from the “colonial mentality”.

    “It was a disgrace, appalling, to hear during the 21st Century, to hear from scientists, that kind of remark. We condemn this in the strongest terms possible, and we assure you that this will not happen,” he said.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia declares state of emergency to curb spread of COVID-19

    By Reuters

    Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the country to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus, his office said on Twitter. “Considering the gravity of the #COVID19, the government of Ethiopia has enacted a State of Emergency,” Abiy’s office said.

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

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    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

    Read more »

    The coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate

    By The Washington Post

    As the novel coronavirus sweeps across the United States, it appears to be infecting and killing black Americans at a disproportionately high rate, according to a Washington Post analysis of early data from jurisdictions across the country. The emerging stark racial disparity led the surgeon general Tuesday to acknowledge in personal terms the increased risk for African Americans amid growing demands that public-health officials release more data on the race of those who are sick, hospitalized and dying of a contagion that has killed more than 12,000 people in the United States. A Post analysis of what data is available and census demographics shows that counties that are majority-black have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are in the majority.

    Read more »

    In China, Wuhan’s lockdown officially ends after 11 weeks

    After 11 weeks — or 76 days — Wuhan’s lockdown is officially over. On Wednesday, Chinese authorities allowed residents to travel in and out of the besieged city where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in December. Many remnants of the months-long lockdown, however, remain. Wuhan’s 11 million residents will be able to leave only after receiving official authorization that they are healthy and haven’t recently been in contact with a coronavirus patient. To do so, the Chinese government is making use of its mandatory smartphone application that, along with other government surveillance, tracks the movement and health status of every person.

    Read more »

    U.S. hospitals facing ‘severe shortages’ of equipment and staff, watchdog says

    By The Washington Post

    As the official U.S. death toll approached 10,000, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams warned that this will be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”

    Read more »

    Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak

    By Tadias Staff

    PhantomALERT, a Washington D.C.-based technology company announced, that it’s offering a free application service to track, report and map COVID-19 outbreak hotspots in real time. In a recent letter to the DC government as well as the Ethiopian Embassy in the U.S. the Ethiopian-American owned business, which was launched in 2007, explained that over the past few days, they have redesigned their application to be “a dedicated coronavirus mapping, reporting and tracking application.” The letter to the Ethiopian Embassy, shared with Tadias, noted that PhantomALERT’s technology “will enable the Ethiopian government (and all other countries across the world) to locate symptomatic patients, provide medical assistance and alert communities of hotspots for the purpose of slowing down the spread of the Coronavirus.”

    Read more »

    2nd COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia

    By Dr. Lia Tadesse (Minister, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia)

    It is with great sadness that I announce the second death of a patient from #COVID19 in Ethiopia. The patient was admitted on April 2nd and was under strict medical follow up in the Intensive Care Unit. My sincere condolences to the family and loved ones.

    Read more »

    The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.


    People line up in their cars at the COVID-19 testing area at Roseland Community Hospital on April 3, 2020, in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

    By Chicago Tribune

    A new, different type of coronavirus test is coming that will help significantly in the fight to quell the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and scientists say. The first so-called serology test, which detects antibodies to the virus rather than the virus itself, was given emergency approval Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And several more are nearly ready, said Dr. Elizabeth McNally, director of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Center for Genetic Medicine.

    Read more »

    ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis

    By Tadias Staff

    Lately Ethiopian Airlines has been busy delivering much-needed medical supplies across Africa and emerging at the forefront of the continent’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic even as it has suspended most of its international passenger flights.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight

    By AFP

    Ethiopia’s government — like others in Africa — is confronting a stark ventilator shortage that could hobble its COVID-19 response. In a country of more than 100 million people, just 54 ventilators — out of around 450 total — had been set aside for COVID-19 patients as of this week, said Yakob Seman, director general of medical services at the health ministry.

    Read more »

    New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers


    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. (AP photo)

    By The Washington Post

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for a national enlistment of health-care workers organized by the U.S. military.

    Speaking on CNN’s New Day, he lamented that there has been no effort to mobilize doctors and nurses across the country and bring them to “the front” — first New York City and then other areas that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

    “If there’s not action by the president and the military literally in a matter of days to put in motion this vast mobilization,” de Blasio said, “then you’re going to see first hundreds and later thousands of Americans die who did not need to die.”

    He said he expects his city to be stretched for medical personnel starting Sunday, which he called “D-Day.” Many workers are out sick with the disease, he added, while others are “just stretched to the limit.”

    The mayor said he has told national leaders that they need to get on “wartime footing.”

    “The nation is in a peacetime stance while were actually in the middle of a war,” de Blasio said. “And if they don’t do something different in the next few days, they’re going to lose the window.”

    Read more »

    Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed

    By The Washington Post

    More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — a new record — as political and public health leaders put the economy in a deep freeze, keeping people at home and trying to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The past two weeks have seen more people file for unemployed claims than during the first six months of the Great Recession, a sign of how rapid, deep and painful the economic shutdown has been on many American families who are struggling to pay rent and health insurance costs in the midst of a pandemic. Job losses have skyrocketed as restaurants, hotel, gyms, and travel have shut down across the nation, but layoffs are also rising in manufacturing, warehousing and transportation, a sign of how widespread the pain of the coronavirus recession is. In March alone, 10.4 million Americans lost their jobs and applied for government aid, according to the latest Labor Department data, which includes claims filed through March 28. Many economists say the real number of people out work is likely even higher, since a lot of newly unemployed Americans haven’t been able to fill out a claim yet.

    Read more »

    U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II

    By The Washington Post

    The coronavirus outbreak sickening hundreds of thousands around the world and devastating the global economy is creating a challenge for the world not seen since World War II, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said late Tuesday. Speaking in a virtual news conference, Guterres said the world needs to show more solidarity and cooperation in fighting not only the medical aspects of the crisis but the economic fallout. The International Monetary Fund is predicting an economic recession worse than in 2008.

    Read more »

    US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,800 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.

    Read more »

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in the New York tri-state area has shared timely resources including COVID-19 safety information as well as national sources of financial support for families and small business owners.

    Read more »

    2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19

    By Tadias Staff

    The highly anticipated 2020 national election in Ethiopia has been canceled for now due to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that it has shelved its plans to hold the upcoming nationwide parliamentary polls on August 29th after an internal evaluation of the possible negative effect of the virus pandemic on its official activities.

    Read more »

    Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia on lockdown as coronavirus cases grow

    By The Washington Post

    Maryland, Virginia and the District issued “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, joining a growing list of states and cities mandating broad, enforceable restrictions on where residents can go in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    Read more »

    U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients

    By The Washington Post

    The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

    Read more »

    U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000

    By Bloomberg News

    A top U.S. infectious disease scientist said U.S. deaths could reach 200,000, but called it a moving target. New York’s fatalities neared 1,000, more than a third of the U.S. total.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: PM, WHO Director Discuss Coronavirus Response


    @fanatelevision/twitter

    By Tadias Staff

    Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed spoke with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, over the weekend regarding the Coronavirus response in Ethiopia and Africa in general.

    Read more »

    Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead

    By The Associated Press

    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths. While the U.S. now leads the world in reported infections — with more than 104,000 cases — five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

    Read more »

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    Read more »

    Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump

    By The Washington Post

    Masks that used to cost pennies now cost several dollars. Companies outside the traditional supply chain offer wildly varying levels of price and quality. Health authorities say they have few other choices to meet their needs in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ battle.

    Read more »

    Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus

    By VOA

    ADDIS ABABA – Health experts in Ethiopia are raising concern, as some religious leaders continue to host large gatherings despite government orders not to do so in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government ordered security forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopia has seen only 12 cases and no deaths from the virus, and authorities would like to keep it that way. But enforcing the orders has proven difficult as religious groups continue to meet and, according to religious leaders, fail to treat the risks seriously.

    Read more »

    U.S. deaths from coronavirus top 1,000

    By The Washington Post

    It began as a mysterious disease with frightening potential. Now, just two months after America’s first confirmed case, the country is grappling with a lethal reality: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate.

    Read more »

    A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy

    By The Washington Post

    A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

    Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

    “The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures. The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19


    Photo via amnesty.org

    As universities across Ethiopia close to avert spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to disclose measures they have taken to rescue 17 Amhara students from Dembi Dolo University in Western Oromia, who were abducted by unidentified people in November 2019 and have been missing since.

    The anguish of the students’ families is exacerbated by a phone and internet shutdown implemented in January across the western Oromia region further hampering their efforts to get information about their missing loved ones.

    “The sense of fear and uncertainty spreading across Ethiopia because of COVID-19 is exacerbating the anguish of these students’ families, who are desperate for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones four months after they were abducted,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa.

    “The Ethiopian authorities’ move to close universities in order to protect the lives of university students is commendable, but they must also take similarly concrete actions to locate and rescue the 17 missing students so that they too are reunited with their families.”

    Read more »

    UPDATE: New York City is now reporting 26,697 COVID-19 cases and 450 deaths.

    BY ABC7 NY

    Temporary hospital space in New York City will begin opening on Monday and more supplies are on the way as an already overwhelmed medical community anticipates even more coronavirus patients in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted 20 trucks were on the road delivering protective equipment to hospitals, including surgical masks, N95 masks, and hundreds more ventilators.

    Governor Cuomo added the temporary hospital in the Javits Center will open on Monday the same day that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York City.

    Read more »

    Related: New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard (REUTERS)

    L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    By Business Insider

    Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.

    “I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”

    In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.

    “I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.

    “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    By CNN

    Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has granted pardon to more than 4,000 prisoners in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    Sahle-Work Zewde announced the order in a tweet on Wednesday and said it would help prevent overcrowding in prisons.

    The directive only covers those given a maximum sentence of three years for minor crimes and those who were about to be released from jail, she said.

    There are 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ethiopia, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
    Authorities in the nation have put in place a raft of measures, including the closure of all borders except to those bringing in essential goods to contain the virus. The government has directed security officials to monitor and enforce a ban on large gatherings and overcrowded public transport to ensure social distancing.

    Read more »


    U.S. House passes $2 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill


    Watch: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York breaks down massive coronavirus aid package (MSNBC Video)

    By The Washington Post

    The House of Representatives voted Friday [March 27th] to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill that policy makers hope will blunt the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic, sending the legislation to President Trump for enactment. The legislation passed in dramatic fashion, approved on an overwhelming voice vote by lawmakers who’d been forced to return to Washington by a GOP colleague who had insisted on a quorum being present. Some lawmakers came from New York and other places where residents are supposed to be sheltering at home.

    Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Abiy seeks $150b for African virus response

    By AFP

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
    The pandemic “poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries,” Abiy’s office said in a statement, adding that Ethiopia was “working closely with other African countries” in preparing the aid request.

    The heavy debt burdens of many African countries leave them ill-equipped to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks, as the cost of servicing debt exceeds many countries’ health budgets, the statement said.

    Read more »

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)


    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough and the vast majority recover in 2-6 weeks but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health issues, the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    Read more »

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home


    A flier urging customers to remain home hangs at a turnstile as an MTA employee sanitizes surfaces at a subway station with bleach solutions due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe.

    Partisan divisions stalled efforts to pass a colossal aid package in Congress, and stocks fell again on Wall Street even after the Federal Reserve said it will lend to small and large businesses and local governments to help them through the crisis.

    Warning that the outbreak is accelerating, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action.

    “We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

    Read more »

    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)


    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    Read more »


    Related:

    We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Spotlight: UK’s Medics Academy & Ethiopian Medical Women’s Association Aim for More Women Leaders in Medicine

    As part of the collaboration Medics Academy will be investing £250,000 GBP (over 12 million Ethiopian Birr) in building a new learning community to provide digital access to training and support a target of 70% of female physicians in Ethiopia over the next 5 years – identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the 57 countries in the world with a chronic shortage of health workers. (Life Science Newswire)

    Life Science Newswire

    Medics Academy and Ethiopian Medical Women’s Association to address health worker shortfall and strengthen women physician leaders across Ethiopia

    London/Addis Ababa Life Science Newswire – Medics.Academy – a revolutionary UK company delivering global access to world-leading medical education and the Ethiopian Medical Women’s Association (EMeWA) have signed a partnership agreement to help women physicians in Ethiopia.

    The project will help EMeWA – an organisation established by female physicians in Ethiopia – to fulfil its vision to establish an excellence center for women physicians through one of its main thematic areas of professional development.

    As part of the collaboration Medics Academy will be investing £250,000 GBP (over 12 million Ethiopian Birr) in building a new learning community to provide digital access to training and support a target of 70% of female physicians in Ethiopia over the next 5 years – identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the 57 countries in the world with a chronic shortage of health workers.

    The unique collaboration has been endorsed by the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia and, by championing access to online education, aims to drive digital transformation to help address the country’s health workforce needs, promote professional development and achieve greater representation and leadership of women in medicine.

    Globally, the COVID-19 crisis has led to a significant shift to digital adoption that will likely persist post-pandemic. While there has been high growth in the adoption of education technology in recent years, this move has been deeply accelerated by COVID-19. Remote learning has become a vital part of education delivery and all across the world has been enrolled into the ‘new normal’.

    Dr Alastair McPhail CMG OBE, UK Ambassador to Ethiopia, said: “We are very proud of the partnerships between the UK and Ethiopia on health. The coronavirus pandemic has stretched health systems and healthcare workers to their limits.”

    “I hope that this new partnership will inspire and upskill female doctors across Ethiopia, directly contributing to high quality, equitable health services and ending the avoidable deaths of mothers and children.”

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Mentoring Family Practice Residents in a Time of Pandemic: By Dr. Fikre Germa

    Dr. Fikre Germa is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and a Hospitalist at Brantford General Hospital in Canada.

    CFP

    By Fikre Germa, MD FCFP

    The complexity and uncertainty of dealing with Covid-19 has challenged all of us in clinical education programs. In the regional acute health centre where I am a hospitalist, our family medicine residents were initially concerned about their clinical practice. As a preceptor, so was I. Day in, day out my students and I implicitly and, at times, explicitly, explored what it means to live and learn medicine in the time of a pandemic.

    Yet, in the midst of our fear and frustration, we valued each other as learner and preceptor doing medicine. The residents treated the pandemic as a challenge to be overcome, a new disease to understand, and an opportunity to find new ways of practising medicine.

    As I reflected on what could possibly be the best, the bad and the good in learning medicine during this pandemic, I realized I could build on the residents’ reactions to the crisis. They quickly adapted to treating patients while wearing personal protective equipment and social distancing, an antithesis to how we usually practise medicine. It was unsettling to have to communicate only with our eyes.

    Psychologically, they were more open to learning why both science and story matter in patient care. As a result, hospitalist medicine became an ideal space of learning for further equipping them to take a holistic approach to patient care, to provide comprehensive care.

    During the pandemic, our team’s comfort with discussions helped us grow as a team. Fostering curiosity in residents equips them with an orientation and key competency that makes learning and teaching an enriching experience. I have found over my 15 years as a preceptor that the best residents are endlessly curious and ask questions. They are always willing to give the diagnosis the benefit of the doubt and ask: Am I missing something here; what else could it be? During a crisis, curiosity helps us be imaginative about possible scenarios and solutions and reflect on what is important to our patients. Students come up with fresh ideas, using a different lens than the preceptor to solve a problem, perhaps with a more efficient use of technology.

    The challenges of doing medicine in a pandemic reinforced the importance of fostering residents’ ccompassion and humility. The late Peter Frost, a professor of organizational change, wrote in “Why Compassion Counts:”1

    To act with compassion requires a degree of courage—one must often go beyond the technical, the imperative, the rules of organizations and beyond past practise — to invent new practices that have within them empathy and love and a readiness to connect to others. There is a creativity, a spontaneity, and a very special attunement that accompany a desire to act with empathy engendered by a sympathetic consciousness of another’s distress (Benner, Tanner, & Chesla, 1996) (page 129).

    Covid-19 provided an ideal environment for me, as a preceptor, to work from medicine’s “hidden curriculum” to transmit norms and integrate values. In her article, “Medical education: Beware the hidden curriculum,”2 Sally Mahood warns about the potential dangers of the hidden curriculum: she says, that it “undermines us as caring and ethical professionals. Collegiality, patient-centred care, and ethical practice are often subordinated for factual knowledge or are brushed aside by practical realities.”

    However, as Mahood said, we can “make the hidden curriculum and its messages a topic of explicit discussion and strive to model different messages.” In this time of pandemic, reflecting on the connections of illness, poverty, and global health is vital.

    While patients who come into hospitals receive excellent care in the Canadian healthcare system, the disadvantaged may not have the same outcomes as those enjoying good determinants of health. Covid-19 made the residents more aware of how social inequities and emotional insecurity affected patients. My residents can rehash the critical importance of the social detriments of disease. They know that a lack of housing and social inequality have an adverse effect not only on the vulnerable and their families but also on our communities and countries. They know that a patient’ postal code, their neighbourhoods, is a deciding factor of health outcomes and ask themselves what can be done. In the hospital, the best they can generally do is involve a social worker in the hope that professional can help the person find housing and social supports.

    During our discussions, I would raise the issue of advocacy in patient care. In an editorial entitled, “The Fifth Principle. Family Physicians as Advocates,”3 Carol Herbert, a professor of medicine, wrote that the doctor of the 21st century will have to be politically engaged and advocate for patients and the system. “They must partner with patients, to build public capacity to question and confront the implications of decisions taken by governments, health care and educational institutions, and professional organizations, for the health of individuals and the population.” How right she was.

    Yet, our standard forms of advocacy may have limitations. We need to consider whether a patient has the capacity to follow a recommendation, for example, to attend the addiction team or fill in a 30-page document in order to receive support. In Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much,4 Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir suggest that when a person is stressed because of a lack of resources, their brain is unable to deal with a cognitive load. This leads to tunnel vision and narrowed solutions to problems. This conceptualization, which needs to be further explored, has enabled me to better understand the choices that disadvantaged people make. It further suggests that as advocates we may need to adopt innovative thinking about social determinants of health so we discharge patients with the right framework of interventions.

    The pandemic reinforced the need for residents to have more exposure to global health thinking. Family physicians to understand this key concept because, as was so quickly evident with Covid-19, what happens elsewhere can affect us locally. Diseases now cross our borders, crossing vast geographical areas in a few hours because of our interconnections. In the article “Developing Family Practice to Respond to Global Health Challenges,”5 the authors frames global health conceptually, giving family physicians an understanding of the skill sets needed to engage global health. Equipping medical students to think globally will better prepare them to learn and understand disease processes in terms of systems. This is crucial because then we can understand causation and prevention and our advocacy will better serve the interests of the patient, the community and the country.

    This pandemic has been a wake-up call. It reinvigorated our passion to medicine, our commitment to patient care and patients, to continue to trigger this in us as teachers to continue to value the importance of social justice, global health and health equity and commitment to excellence. In the years to come, the conversation about healthcare is going to also refocus the conversation on these issues so we can play a more holistic care for our patients and communities.

    In summary, I hope the pandemic has triggered us as preceptors to refocus on the critical importance of global health and innovative thinking and systems thinking in nurturing our students toward commitments to goodness, excellence, ethics, and respectability.

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    IN PICTURES: On the Frontline Against Covid-19 in Ethiopia – A Photo Essay

    Frontline workers at the Eka Kotebe hospital. (Photo by Yonas Tadesse)

    The Guardian

    By Yonas Tadesse

    Yonas Tadesse is an Ethiopian photographer based in Addis Ababa who has been documenting doctors and emergency workers fighting coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak. This series focuses on the taskforce at the Eka Kotebe hospital in Addis Ababa.

    The first case of Covid-19 in Ethiopia was reported on 13 March, when a team of first responders took in a 48-year-old Japanese man. Having never seen anything like his condition, they did not know what to prepare for, and thus started their new normal of battling the coronavirus in Ethiopia.

    Doctors, nurses, janitors, security guards and drivers donned hats they had never dreamed of wearing as they worked to develop systems and techniques to minimise the damage from the virus – often at the cost of their health, their home lives, their reputations, and sometimes their lives.


    Dr Kalkidan

    My name is Dr Kalkidan, I was the first person to admit the first Covid-19 positive patient from Japan.

    It was sudden. We weren’t really expecting patients. We were told to prepare the facility. I didn’t bring a change of clothes. I came to do the routine drills. I was terrified. I used to say I wasn’t scared, but I thought to myself about how I must love my life.

    We had to take his blood ourselves, which meant we had to touch him. I was uncomfortable leaving because the man kept coughing constantly and saying he was suffocating. I wanted to auscultate, but that was not an option. I was just scared.

    I talked to friends I’d left on bad notes. I couldn’t talk to my mum. I only talked to my sister. All the regrets and mistakes in life come rushing at you in times like this. I have pre-existing issues with depression and anxiety and it took a lot for me to be back here. I was very upset.

    I’m not saying we have to be reckless, but I think we need to have some faith. I don’t think we needed to be that daunted. I think we exaggerated too much going in at first. I mean, God works here too, right? I don’t think we needed to be that stressed. I think we’ve compromised a lot out of fear.”


    Paulos Seid

    My name is Paulos Seid. I was born and raised in a town called Elebabor, Gore. I am married and a father of a son and twin daughters. I’d worked at Kotebe hospital as a security guard for five months when the coronavirus pandemic was reported in our country.

    During the preparations to battle the virus, there was a big shortage of manpower, so I was asked to carry the responsibility of ‘sprayer’. I did not hesitate. Every time I do the job, I feel that I’m eradicating the virus, so I feel proud.

    But this job has cost me some things. Friends who would normally join me for lunch have come to hate me. They beg me in God’s name not to go near them. It breaks my heart, but the work I do gives me a sense of purpose. I can’t wait for all this to end so I can see my children.”


    Makeda

    My name is Makeda. The worst day so far was when we lost our first patient.

    Mothers are leaving their children behind, families are scattering because of this – you can’t bury your dead.

    We’re losing our joy. From day one, when I think of coronavirus, I think of my family, of people I love. It makes me think I have no guarantee that my mother will not be in this hospital bed next. Or my friends. It’s very painful.

    This might be the first time in my life I thought about my country. But I will continue to serve until my last minute alive because I am here for a reason.”


    Dr Rediet

    My name is Dr Rediet. One time, I was doing rounds with the doctors and transferring patients. After we were done, we heard the patients asking for help. I was doffing. I’d almost gotten my apron off. We ran to the patients and realised Ato Tesfaye did not have a pulse, no cardiac beat, no radial pulse. I fixed the bed for him and we started doing CPR. As this was an emergency, we were required to do CPR on a salvageable patient. I was the one still wearing full protective gear so it was OK for me to give CPR. We did two cycles of chest compression and we were able to bring him back. We were lucky because we heard the call for help.”

    Read more and see the rest of the photos at theguardian.com »

    Related:

    Ethiopia Coronavirus Cases Reach 60,784 (LATEST UPDATE)

    ‘Covid Has Made Me Wonder: Am I Really an Entrepreneur?’ – Kibret Abebe

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    In Canada, EthioCare Volunteers Help Church Members After COVID-19 Outbreak

    The Calgary Kidanemhret Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church now has 107 active cases of COVID-19 linked to it. Volunteers are busy delivering hampers to those who are in self-isolation, and as [Global News] reports, some have said they are feeling the effects of being stigmatized. (Global News)

    Global News

    Volunteers assist Calgary church members diagnosed with COVID-19

    There are now 107 active cases of COVID-19 among people who attended a service at the Calgary Kidanemhret Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in August, according to health officials.

    That is nearly double the number that was first reported on Monday when 57 cases were announced.

    Members of Calgary’s Ethiopian community are delivering hampers to people who were at the church between Aug. 9 and 23 and are now in self-isolation.

    An organization called EthioCare has been helping recent immigrants who have been affected by COVID-19 since the pandemic started.

    “Unfortunately, there was a backlash going towards the communities,” said Bekele Hankebo, the team lead with EthioCare on Saturday.

    “It’s just creating anxiety and fear. People are already traumatized even before this pandemic with many other issues, and now they are worried whether they should send their kids to school or daycare or even go back to work.”

    Hankebo said it’s encouraging seeing more people reach out to them during this church outbreak than the Cargill outbreak near High River when he said many were fearful and secretive.

    READ MORE: Calgary Cares: Charity EthioCare offers extra support for immigrants during COVID-19 crisis

    He said the relationship building and communication they’ve had with the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities is paying off.

    “We delivered groceries during that time and they made us promise that we would not reveal their identity or their names. Now they have called us. We didn’t have to go to them,” Hankebo said.

    Hankebo said volunteers with EthioCare have delivered 22 hampers as of Saturday and have been doing daily checks on church members in self-isolation. He said volunteers with the group have been helping with contact tracing and have been successful in building trust in Calgary’s Ethiopian and Eritrean communities.

    “We are working hard to break the barriers and it is working so far. This coronavirus has already had a huge impact on immigrants especially. There are language issues, lack of awareness and cultural beliefs,” Hankebo said.

    Dr. Deena Hinshaw expressed her gratitude on Thursday to church leaders and members who proactively went for testing and who are working with Alberta Health Services to understand this outbreak.

    She also clarified comments she made on Monday about the recommendations only applying to those who attended the church from Aug. 9 to 23.

    “I recommend anyone who was at the church on those dates go for testing, that children who attended the church should temporarily stay home from school while information from the outbreak is being gathered so we can better understand who is at risk,” Hinshaw said on Thursday.

    Hinshaw also emphasized the importance of supporting people involved in outbreaks.

    “I have heard that this community is now being targeted and stigmatized because of this outbreak. Stigmatizing those with this illness only increases the possibility that fear of this negative attention will keep people from being tested and will drive the virus underground,” Hinshaw said on Thursday.

    “We cannot fight COVID in the dark and no region or group in society is immune from this virus. We are all best served by offering support and compassion to those who are dealing with outbreaks or isolated cases.”

    Coronavirus outbreak reported at Ethiopian Orthodox church in Calgary


    Kidanemhret Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Calgary, Canada. (Google Maps)

    DH News

    Alberta’s top doctor announced a new coronavirus outbreak tied to a church in Calgary on Monday.

    Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 57 cases so far have been linked to the Kidanemhret Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

    She asked anyone who attended service at the church in the last two weeks to stay home and watch for symptoms until 14 days from the last time they visited the religious centre.

    She also asked children who attended church to stay home from school for at least 14 days as a precaution.

    “The case numbers we have seen to date are raising concerns that there could be more cases,” Hinshaw said.

    Canada signs agreement for 76 million doses of potential coronavirus vaccine
    She added that coronavirus outbreaks can happen anywhere, and reminded members to treat those affected with compassion.

    “It is critical as always that members of this church be supported and not targeted or stigmatized,” she said.

    She added the church is working with public health to help with contact tracing to stop the virus from spreading further.

    Hinshaw made the announcement the same day she revealed Alberta discovered more than 400 coronavirus cases over the weekend.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    IN CANADA, A Coronavirus Outbreak Reported at Ethiopian Church (UPDATE)

    Kidanemhret Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Calgary, Canada. (Google Maps)

    DH News

    Coronavirus outbreak reported at Ethiopian Orthodox church in Calgary

    Alberta’s top doctor announced a new coronavirus outbreak tied to a church in Calgary on Monday.

    Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 57 cases so far have been linked to the Kidanemhret Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

    She asked anyone who attended service at the church in the last two weeks to stay home and watch for symptoms until 14 days from the last time they visited the religious centre.

    She also asked children who attended church to stay home from school for at least 14 days as a precaution.

    “The case numbers we have seen to date are raising concerns that there could be more cases,” Hinshaw said.

    Canada signs agreement for 76 million doses of potential coronavirus vaccine
    She added that coronavirus outbreaks can happen anywhere, and reminded members to treat those affected with compassion.

    “It is critical as always that members of this church be supported and not targeted or stigmatized,” she said.

    She added the church is working with public health to help with contact tracing to stop the virus from spreading further.

    Hinshaw made the announcement the same day she revealed Alberta discovered more than 400 coronavirus cases over the weekend.

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    COVID19 Contact Tracing is a race. But few U.S. states say how fast they’re running

    The race is key to controlling the pandemic ahead of a vaccine, experts say. But most places across the United States aren’t making public how fast or well they’re running it, leaving Americans in the dark about how their governments are mitigating the risk. (Photo: Coronavirus contact tracers in Virginia/TWP)

    The Washington Post

    Someone — let’s call her Person A — catches the coronavirus. It’s a Monday. She goes about life, unaware her body is incubating a killer. By perhaps Thursday, she’s contagious. Only that weekend does she come down with a fever and get tested.

    What happens next is critical. Public health workers have a small window of time to track down everyone Person A had close contact with over the past few days. Because by the coming Monday or Tuesday, some of those people — though they don’t yet have symptoms — could also be spreading the virus.

    Welcome to the sprint known as contact tracing, the process of reaching potentially exposed people as fast as possible and persuading them to quarantine.

    The race is key to controlling the pandemic ahead of a vaccine, experts say. But most places across the United States aren’t making public how fast or well they’re running it, leaving Americans in the dark about how their governments are mitigating the risk.

    An exception is the District of Columbia, which recently added metrics on contact tracing to its online dashboard. A few weeks ago, the District was still too overwhelmed to try to ask all of those who tested positive about their contacts. Now, after building a staff of several hundred contact tracers, D.C. officials say they’re making that attempt within 24 hours of a positive test report in about 98 percent of cases.

    For months, every U.S. state has posted daily numbers on coronavirus testing — along with charts of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. So far, only one state, Oregon, posts similar data about contact tracing. Officials in New York say they plan to begin publishing such metrics in the coming weeks.

    Read more »

    Related:

    Interview: Yoseph Seyoum on How to Find Job as COVID-19 Contact Tracer in U.S. Ethiopian Community

    If you are interested in becoming a COVID-19 Contact Tracer, you can learn more and register here: https://tracers.ethiodiasporacovid.com/

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia’s COVID-19 Update Affected By Internet Cut

    Ethiopia has not released coronavirus statistics since June 29 when cases were at 5,846. (Africa News)

    Africa News

    Virus stats affected by internet cut

    Ethiopia has not released coronavirus statistics since June 29 when cases were at 5,846 with 103 deaths, 2430 recoveries and 3,311 recoveries.

    The main sources of updates, the federal Health Ministry, Minister Lia Tadesse and the Ethiopia Public Health Institute have all not posted updates since June 29. Neither the WHO Africa regional office or the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also updated stats since Monday.

    The development could likely be because of an internet blackout in the country in the wake of the murder of a popular musician Hachalu Hundessa in the capital Addis Ababa.

    Four days since the incident, the country has experienced deadly protests as people demanded justice for the murder. Police reported blasts in the capital whiles the army was deployed to quell violence.

    Read more »

    THE LATEST UPDATE:

    Updated: July 3rd, 2020

    Latest stories

  • African Development Fund approves $165 m grant for Ethiopia’s national COVID-19 emergency response
  • Sponsor network gives lifeline to Ethiopians struggling under pandemic
  • WHO warns of ‘new and dangerous phase’ as coronavirus accelerates; Americas now hardest hit
  • World Bank Provides Additional Support to Help Ethiopia Mitigate Economic Impacts of COVID-19
  • Africa outperforms world economies in coronavirus mayhem
  • As coronavirus cases rise in U.S., public health experts urge caution
  • COVID-19 Cases Pass 10 Million Worldwide
  • U.S. tops 2.5 million reported cases
  • US Deaths From Coronavirus Surpass 125,000 and Growing
  • Ethiopia Coronavirus Cases Reach 5,846
  • Once the coronavirus epicenter in the U.S., New York City begins to reopen
  • Winter is coming south of the equator, along with predictions of the coronavirus’s spread
  • NYT honors coronavirus victims with powerful front page
  • Spotlight: Ethiopia’s First Private Ambulance System Tebita Adds Services Addressing COVID19
  • WHO reports most coronavirus cases in a day as cases approach five million
  • World Health Organization warns against hydroxychloroquine use for covid-19
  • Experts: Trump’s threats to WHO could undercut global health
  • Why Cape Town has 10 percent of Africa’s confirmed coronavirus cases
  • WHO head says vaccines, medicines must be fairly shared to beat COVID-19
  • U.S. coronavirus death toll tops 80,000
  • U.S. Jobless Rate Spikes to 14.7%, Highest Since Great Depression
  • Doctors face new urgency to solve children and coronavirus puzzle
  • In Ethiopia, Abiy Warns of Opposition Power Grab Amid Pandemic
  • Q&A: How Ethiopia’s Health Minister is Preparing for Coronavirus
  • Young Inventor Helps Ethiopia’s COVID-19 Crisis
  • Hospitalizations continue to decline in New York, Cuomo says
  • Researchers double U.S. COVID-19 death forecast, citing eased restrictions
  • Ethiopia: PM Abiy Writes COVID-19 Related Op-Ed on World Economic Forum Blog
  • Virus deaths in D.C., Virginia and Maryland surpass 2,000
  • IMF Approves $411M in Coronavirus Aid for Ethiopia
  • COVID-19 and Its Impact on African Economies: Q&A with Prof. Lemma Senbet
  • Los Angeles becomes first major U.S. city to offer free coronavirus testing for all residents
  • Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 200,000, as world leaders commit to finding vaccine
  • City demolitions expose Ethiopian families to coronavirus
  • In Maryland, Wogene Debele Gave Birth Before Dying of Covid-19. She Never Got to See Her Newborn.
  • Germany to start first coronavirus vaccine trial
  • U.S. coronavirus deaths top 51,000, with fatalities expected to climb
  • Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with covid-19, are dying from strokes
  • Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health Holds Webinar With Diaspora on COVID-19 Response
  • Webinar on COVID-19 and Mental Health: Interview with Dr. Seble Frehywot
  • CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating
  • Americans at World Health Organization transmitted real-time info. about coronavirus to Trump admin.
  • In Ethiopia, Dire Dawa Emerges as Newest Coronavirus Hot Spot
  • COVID-19: Interview with Dr. Tsion Firew, an Ethiopian Doctor on the Frontline in NYC
  • UN COVID-19 Major airlift operation reaches ‘most vulnerable’ African nations
  • Ethiopia Cases of Coronavirus Surpass 100
  • In U.S., New York’s Cuomo attacks Trump’s pandemic response
  • Doctor who sounded the alarm about covid-19 is now a children’s book hero
  • Ethiopia Opens Aid Transport Hub to Fight Covid-19
  • Ethiopia to buy life insurance for health workers
  • IMF says COVID-19 pandemic is causing worst global economic downturn since Great Depression
  • U.N. says Saudi deportations of Ethiopian migrants risks spreading coronavirus
  • Ethiopia’s capital launches door-to-door Covid-19 screening
  • Worldwide deaths from the coronavirus hit 100,000
  • Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale
  • Ethiopia eyes replicating China’s successes in applying traditional medicine to contain COVID-19
  • WHO Director Slams ‘Racist’ Comments About COVID-19 Vaccine Testing
  • Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency, Recruits Health Workers to Fight Virus
  • The virus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate, a Post analysis shows
  • In China, Wuhan’s lockdown officially ends after 11 weeks
  • U.S. coronavirus deaths surpass 10,000
  • U.S. Government urged to release race, ethnicity data on covid-19 cases
  • Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak
  • 2nd COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia
  • The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.
  • New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers
  • ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis
  • Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight
  • Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise
  • Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed
  • U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II
  • US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC
  • Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community
  • 2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19
  • DC Metro Area Goes on Lockdown
  • U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients
  • U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000
  • The Curious Case of Ethiopian Traditional Medicine Covid-19 Treatment & Need for Caution
  • Ethiopia: PM Abiy spoke with Dr. Tedros regarding the Coronavirus response in Africa
  • COVID-19: Fire brigades disinfect Ethiopian capital
  • The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming
  • In Tunisia Factory Workers Making 50k Masks a Day While in Voluntary Lockdown
  • Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead
  • Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community
  • Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump
  • Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus
  • A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy
  • Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19
  • Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    Coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpass 2.5 million

    By The Washington Post

    June 28th, 2020

    Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 2.5 million on Sunday morning as a devastating new wave of infections continued to bear down throughout the country’s South and West. Florida, Texas and Arizona are fast emerging as the country’s latest epicenters after reporting record numbers of new infections for weeks in a row. Positivity rates and hospitalizations have also spiked. Global cases of covid-19 exceeded 10 million, according to a count maintained by Johns Hopkins University, a measure of the power and spread of a pandemic that has caused vast human suffering, devastated the world’s economy and still threatens vulnerable populations in rich and poor nations alike.
    Read more »

    WHO warns of ‘new and dangerous phase’ as coronavirus accelerates; Americas now hardest hit

    By The Washington Post

    The World Health Organization warned Friday that “the world is in a new and dangerous phase” as the global pandemic accelerates. The world recorded about 150,000 new cases on Thursday, the largest rise yet in a single day, according to the WHO. Nearly half of these infections were in the Americas, as new cases continue to surge in the United States, Brazil and across Latin America. More than 8.5 million coronavirus cases and at least 454,000 deaths have been reported worldwide. As confirmed cases and hospitalizations climb in the U.S., new mask requirements are prompting faceoffs between officials who seek to require face coverings and those, particularly conservatives, who oppose such measures. Several studies this month support wearing masks to curb coronavirus transmission, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend their use as a protective measure. Read more »

    World Bank Provides Additional Support to Help Ethiopia Mitigate Economic Impacts of COVID-19

    JUNE 18, 2020

    The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved $250 million ($125 million grant and $125 million credit) in supplemental financing for the ongoing Second Ethiopia Growth and Competitiveness Programmatic Development Policy Financing. This funding is geared towards helping Ethiopia to revitalize the economy by broadening the role of the private sector and attaining a more sustainable development path.

    “The COVID 19 pandemic is expected to severely impact Ethiopia’s economy. The austerity of the required containment measures, along with disruptions to air travel and the collapse in international demand for goods exported by Ethiopia are already taking a toll on the economy,” said Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea. “Additionally, an estimated 1.8 million jobs are at risk, and the incomes and livelihoods of several million informal workers, self-employed individuals and farmers are expected to be affected.”

    The supplemental financing will help to mitigate the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on the Government’s reform agenda. Specifically, the program is intended to help address some of the unanticipated financing needs the Government of Ethiopia is facing due to the COVID-19 crisis. Additional financing needs are estimated to be approximately $1.5 billion, as revenue collection is expected to weaken, and additional expenditure is needed to mitigate the public health and economic impacts of the crisis.

    Read more »

    Once the coronavirus epicenter in the U.S., New York City begins to reopen


    After three months of a coronavirus crisis followed by protests and unrest, New York City is trying to turn a page when a limited range of industries reopen Monday, June 8, 2020. (AP Photo)

    100 days after the first coronavirus case was confirmed there, the city that was once the epicenter of America’s coronavirus pandemic began to reopen. The number of cases in New York has plunged, but health officials fear that a week of protests on the streets could bring a new wave.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) estimated that between 200,000 to 400,000 workers returned to work throughout the city’s five boroughs.

    “All New Yorkers should be proud you got us to this day,” de Blasio said at a news conference at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a manufacturing hub.

    Read more »

    US Deaths From Coronavirus Surpass 100,000 Milestone

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. surpassed a jarring milestone Wednesday in the coronavirus pandemic: 100,000 deaths. That number is the best estimate and most assuredly an undercount. But it represents the stark reality that more Americans have died from the virus than from the Vietnam and Korea wars combined. “It’s a striking reminder of how dangerous this virus can be,” said Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington. The true death toll from the virus, which emerged in China late last year and was first reported in the U.S. in January, is widely believed to be significantly higher, with experts saying many victims died of COVID-19 without ever being tested for it. Read more »

    Ethiopia Coronavirus Cases Reach 5,846

    By Dr. Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health

    Report #111 የኢትዮጵያ የኮሮና ቫይረስ ሁኔታ መግለጫ. Status update on #COVID19Ethiopia. Total confirmed cases [as of June 29th, 2020]: 5,846 Read more »

    New York Times Memorializes Coronavirus Victims as U.S. Death Toll Nears 100,000

    America is fast approaching a grim milestone in the coronavirus outbreak — each figure here represents one of the nearly 100,000 lives lost so far. Read more »

    Spotlight: Ethiopia’s First Private Ambulance System Tebita Adds Services Addressing COVID19

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    Twelve year ago when Kibret Abebe quit his job as a nurse anesthetist at Black Lion Hospital and sold his house to launch Tebita Ambulance — Ethiopia’s First Private Ambulance System — his friends and family were understandably concerned about his decisions. But today Tebita operates over 20 advanced life support ambulances with approval from the Ministry of Health and stands as the country’s premier Emergency Medical Service (EMS). Tebita has since partnered with East Africa Emergency Services, an Ethiopian and American joint venture that Kibret also owns, with the aim “to establish the first trauma center and air ambulance system in Ethiopia.” This past month Tebita announced their launch of new services in Addis Abeba to address the COVID-19 pandemic and are encouraging Ethiopians residing in the U.S. to utilize Tebita for regular home check-ins on elderly family members as well as vulnerable individuals with pre-existing conditions. The following is an audio of the interview with Kibret Abebe and Laura Davis of Tebita Ambulance and East Africa Emergency Services: Read more »

    WHO reports most coronavirus cases in a day as cases approach five million

    By Reuters

    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization expressed concern on Wednesday about the rising number of new coronavirus cases in poor countries, even as many rich nations have begun emerging from lockdown. The global health body said 106,000 new cases of infections of the novel coronavirus had been recorded in the past 24 hours, the most in a single day since the outbreak began. “We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference. “We are very concerned about rising cases in low and middle income countries.” Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies programme, said: “We will soon reach the tragic milestone of 5 million cases.” Read more »

    WHO head says vaccines, medicines must be fairly shared to beat COVID-19

    By Reuters

    Scientists and researchers are working at “breakneck” speed to find solutions for COVID-19 but the pandemic can only be beaten with equitable distribution of medicines and vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday. “Traditional market models will not deliver at the scale needed to cover the entire globe,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing in Geneva.

    Read more »

    Doctors face new urgency to solve children and coronavirus puzzle

    By Axios

    Solving the mystery of how the coronavirus impacts children has gained sudden steam, as doctors try to determine if there’s a link between COVID-19 and kids with a severe inflammatory illness, and researchers try to pin down their contagiousness before schools reopen. New York hospitals have reported 73 suspected cases with two possible deaths from the inflammatory illness as of Friday evening. Read more »

    COVID-19 and Its Impact on African Economies: Q&A with Prof. Lemma Senbet


    Prof. Lemma Senbet. (Photo: @AERCAFRICA/Twitter)

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    Last week Professor Lemma Senbet, an Ethiopian-American financial economist and the William E. Mayer Chair Professor at University of Maryland, moderated a timely webinar titled ‘COVID-19 and African Economies: Global Implications and Actions.’ The well-attended online conference — hosted by the Center for Financial Policy at University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business on Friday, April 24th — featured guest speakers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as the World Bank who addressed “the global implications of the COVID-19 economic impact on developing and low-income countries, with Africa as an anchor.” In the following Q&A with Tadias Prof. Lemma, who is also the immediate former Executive Director of the African Economic Research Consortium based in Nairobi, Kenya, explains the worldwide economic fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the African continent, including Ethiopia. Read more »

    US unemployment surges to a Depression-era level of 14.7%

    By The Associated Press

    The coronavirus crisis has sent U.S. unemployment surging to 14.7%, a level last seen when the country was in the throes of the Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was assuring Americans that the only thing to fear was fear itself…The breathtaking collapse is certain to intensify the push-pull across the U.S. over how and when to ease stay-at-home restrictions. And it robs President Donald Trump of the ability to point to a strong economy as he runs for reelection. “The jobs report from hell is here,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, “one never seen before and unlikely to be seen again barring another pandemic or meteor hitting the Earth.” Read more »

    Hospitalizations continue to decline in New York, Cuomo says

    By CBS News

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the number of people newly diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19 has continued to decrease. “Overall the numbers are coming down,” he said. But he said 335 people died from the virus yesterday. “That’s 335 families,” Cuomo said. “You see this number is basically reducing, but not at a tremendous rate. The only thing that’s tremendous is the number of New Yorkers who’ve still passed away.” Read more »

    Los Angeles offers free testing to all county residents

    By The Washington Post

    All residents of Los Angeles County can access free coronavirus testing at city-run sites, Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said on Wednesday. Previously, the city had only offered testing to residents with symptoms as well as essential workers and people who lived or worked in nursing homes and other kinds of institutional facilities. In an announcement on Twitter, Garcetti said that priority would still be given to front-line workers and anyone experiencing symptoms, including cough, fever or shortness of breath. But the move, which makes Los Angeles the first major city in the country to offer such widespread testing, allows individuals without symptoms to be tested. Health experts have repeatedly said that mass testing is necessary to determine how many people have contracted the virus — and in particular, those who may not have experienced symptoms — and then begin to reopen the economy. Testing is by appointment only and can be arranged at one of the city’s 35 sites. Read more »

    Researchers Double U.S. COVID-19 Death Forecast

    By Reuters

    A newly revised coronavirus mortality model predicts nearly 135,000 Americans will die from COVID-19 by early August, almost double previous projections, as social-distancing measures for quelling the pandemic are increasingly relaxed, researchers said on Monday. The ominous new forecast from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) reflect “rising mobility in most U.S. states” with an easing of business closures and stay-at-home orders expected in 31 states by May 11, the institute said. Read more »

    Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 200,000, as world leaders commit to finding vaccine

    By NBC News

    The global coronavirus death toll surpassed 200,000 on Saturday, according to John Hopkins University data. The grim total was reached a day after presidents and prime ministers agreed to work together to develop new vaccines, tests and treatments at a virtual meeting with both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We will only halt COVID-19 through solidarity,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Countries, health partners, manufacturers, and the private sector must act together and ensure that the fruits of science and research can benefit everybody. As the U.S. coronavirus death tollpassed 51,000 people, according to an NBC News tally, President Donald Trump took no questions at his White House briefing on Friday, after widespread mockery for floating the idea that light, heat and disinfectants could be used to treat coronavirus patients.”

    Read more »

    Germany to start first coronavirus vaccine trial

    By DW

    German Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced the first clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine. The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), the regulatory authority which helps develop and authorizes vaccines in Germany, has given the go-ahead for the first clinical trial of BNT162b1, a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was developed by cancer researcher and immunologist Ugur Sahin and his team at pharmaceutical company BioNTech, and is based on their prior research into cancer immunology. Sahin previously taught at the University of Mainz before becoming the CEO of BioNTech. In a joint conference call on Wednesday with researchers from the Paul Ehrlich Institute, Sahin said BNT162b1 constitutes a so-called RNA vaccine. He explained that innocuous genetic information of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is transferred into human cells with the help of lipid nanoparticles, a non-viral gene delivery system. The cells then transform this genetic information into a protein, which should stimulate the body’s immune reaction to the novel coronavrius.

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    Webinar on COVID-19 and Mental Health: Interview with Dr. Seble Frehywot

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    Dr. Seble Frehywot, an Associate Professor of Global Health & Health Policy at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and her colleague Dr. Yianna Vovides from Georgetown University will host an online forum next week on April 30th focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on mental health. Dr. Seble — who is also the Director of Global Health Equity On-Line Learning at George Washington University – told Tadias that the virtual conference titled “People’s Webinar: Addressing COVID-19 By Addressing Mental Health” is open to the public and available for viewing worldwide. Read more »

    Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with covid-19, are dying from strokes

    By The Washington Post

    Doctors sound alarm about patients in their 30s and 40s left debilitated or dead. Some didn’t even know they were infected. Read more »

    CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating

    By The Washington Post

    Even as states move ahead with plans to reopen their economies, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that a second wave of the novel coronavirus will be far more dire because it is likely to coincide with the start of flu season. “There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an interview with The Washington Post. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean…We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time,” he said. Having two simultaneous respiratory outbreaks would put unimaginable strain on the health-care system, he said. The first wave of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has already killed more than 42,000 people across the country. It has overwhelmed hospitals and revealed gaping shortages in test kits, ventilators and protective equipment for health-care workers.

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    Americans at World Health Organization transmitted real-time information about coronavirus to Trump administration

    By The Washington Post

    More than a dozen U.S. researchers, physicians and public health experts, many of them from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were working full time at the Geneva headquarters of the World Health Organization as the novel coronavirus emerged late last year and transmitted real-time information about its discovery and spread in China to the Trump administration, according to U.S. and international officials. A number of CDC staff members are regularly detailed to work at the WHO in Geneva as part of a rotation that has operated for years. Senior Trump-appointed health officials also consulted regularly at the highest levels with the WHO as the crisis unfolded, the officials said. The presence of so many U.S. officials undercuts President Trump’s assertion that the WHO’s failure to communicate the extent of the threat, born of a desire to protect China, is largely responsible for the rapid spread of the virus in the United States. Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Dire Dawa Emerges as Newest Coronavirus Hot Spot

    By Africa News

    The case count as of April 20 had reached 111 according to health minister Lia Tadesse’s update for today. Ethiopia crossed the 100 mark over the weekend. All three cases recorded over the last 24-hours were recorded in the chartered city of Dire Dawa with patients between the ages of 11 – 18. Two of them had travel history from Djibouti. Till date, Ethiopia has 90 patients in treatment centers. The death toll is still at three with 16 recoveries. A patient is in intensive care. Read more »

    COVID-19: Interview with Dr. Tsion Firew, an Ethiopian Doctor on the Frontline in NYC


    Dr. Tsion Firew is Doctor of Emergency Medicine and Assistant Professor at Columbia University. She is also Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia. (Courtesy photo)

    By Liben Eabisa

    In New York City, which has now become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, working as a medical professional means literally going to a “war zone,” says physician Tsion Firew, a Doctor of Emergency Medicine and Assistant Professor at Columbia University, who has just recovered from COVID-19 and returned to work a few days ago. Indeed the statistics coming out of New York are simply shocking with the state recording a sharp increase in death toll this months surpassing 10,000 and growing. According to The New York Times: “The numbers brought into clearer focus the staggering toll the virus has already taken on the largest city in the United States, where deserted streets are haunted by the near-constant howl of ambulance sirens. Far more people have died in New York City, on a per-capita basis, than in Italy — the hardest-hit country in Europe.” At the heart of the solution both in the U.S. and around the world is more testing and adhering to social distancing rules until such time as a proper treatment and vaccine is discovered, says Dr. Tsion, who is also a Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia. Dr. Tsion adds that at this moment “we all as humanity have one enemy: the virus. And what’s going to win the fight is solidarity.” Listen to the interview »

    Ethiopia Opens Aid Transport Hub to Fight Covid-19

    By AFP

    Ethiopia and the United Nations on Tuesday opened a humanitarian transport hub at Addis Ababa airport to move supplies and aid workers across Africa to fight coronavirus. The arrangement, which relies on cargo services provided by Ethiopian Airlines, could also partially offset heavy losses Africa’s largest carrier is sustaining because of the pandemic. An initial shipment of 3 000 cubic metres of supplies – most of it personal protective equipment for health workers – will be distributed within the next week, said Steven Were Omamo, Ethiopia country director for the World Food Programme (WFP). “This is a really important platform in the response to Covid-19, because what it does is it allows us to move with speed and efficiency to respond to the needs as they are unfolding,” Omamo said, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus. The Addis gateway is one of eight global humanitarian hubs set up to facilitate movement of aid to fight Covid-19, according to WFP.

    Read more »

    Covid-19: Ethiopia to buy life insurance for health workers

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    The Ethiopian government is due to buy life insurance for health professionals in direct contact with Covid-19 patients. Health minister Lia Tadesse said on Tuesday that the government last week reached an agreement with the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation but did not disclose the value of the cover. The two sides are expected to sign an agreement this week to effect the insurance grant. According to the ministry, the life insurance grant is aimed at encouraging health experts who are the most vulnerable to the deadly coronavirus. Members of the Rapid Response Team will also benefit.

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    U.N. says Saudi deportations of Ethiopian migrants risks spreading coronavirus

    By Reuters

    The United Nations said on Monday that deportations of illegal migrant workers by Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia risked spreading the coronavirus and it urged Riyadh to suspend the practice for the time being.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia’s capital launches door-to-door Covid-19 screening


    Getty Images

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa is due to begin a door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening across the city, Addis Ababa city administration has announced. City deputy Mayor, Takele Uma, on Saturday told local journalists that the mass screening and testing programme will be started Monday (April 13) first in districts which are identified as potentially most vulnerable to the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus. The aggressive city-wide screening measure intends to identify Covid-19 infected patients and thereby to arrest a potential virus spread within communities. He said, the mass screening will eventually be carried out in all 117 districts, locally known as woredas, of the city, which is home to an estimated 7 million inhabitants. According to the Mayor, the door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening will be conducted by more than 1,200 retired health professionals, who responded to government’s call on the retired to join the national fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

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    Worldwide deaths from the coronavirus hit 100,000

    By The Associated Press

    The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has hit 100,000, according to the running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. The sad milestone comes as Christians around the globe mark a Good Friday unlike any other — in front of computer screens instead of in church pews. Meanwhile, some countries are tiptoeing toward reopening segments of their battered economies. Public health officials are warning people against violating the social distancing rules over Easter and allowing the virus to flare up again. Authorities are using roadblocks and other means to discourage travel.

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    Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    A network of technology professionals from the Ethiopian Diaspora — known as the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team – has been assisting the Ethiopian Ministry of Health since the nation’s first Coronavirus case was confirmed on March 13th. The COVID-19 Response Team has since grown into an army of more than a thousand volunteers. Mike Endale, a software developer based in Washington, D.C., is the main person behind the launch of this project. Read more »

    Ethiopia eyes replicating China’s successes in applying traditional medicine to contain COVID-19

    By CGTN Africa

    The Ethiopian government on Thursday expressed its keen interest to replicate China’s positive experience in terms of effectively applying traditional Chinese medicine to successfully contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the East African country.

    This came after high-level officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MoIT) as well as the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) held a video conference with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and researchers on ways of applying the TCM therapy towards controlling the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country, the MoIT disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday.

    “China, in particular, has agreed to provide to Ethiopia the two types of Chinese traditional medicines that the country applied to successfully treat the first two stages of the novel coronavirus,” a statement from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology read.

    Read more »

    WHO Director Slams ‘Racist’ Comments About COVID-19 Vaccine Testing


    The Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has angrily condemned recent comments made by scientists suggesting that a vaccine for COVID-19 should be tested in Africa as “racist” and a hangover from the “colonial mentality”. (Photo: WHO)

    By BBC

    The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has condemned as “racist” the comments by two French doctors who suggested a vaccine for the coronavirus could be tested in Africa.

    “Africa can’t and won’t be a testing ground for any vaccine,” said Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

    The doctors’ remarks during a TV debate sparked outrage, and they were accused of treating Africans like “human guinea pigs”.

    One of them later issued an apology.

    When asked about the doctors’ suggestion during the WHO’s coronavirus briefing, Dr Tedros became visibly angry, calling it a hangover from the “colonial mentality”.

    “It was a disgrace, appalling, to hear during the 21st Century, to hear from scientists, that kind of remark. We condemn this in the strongest terms possible, and we assure you that this will not happen,” he said.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia declares state of emergency to curb spread of COVID-19

    By Reuters

    Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the country to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus, his office said on Twitter. “Considering the gravity of the #COVID19, the government of Ethiopia has enacted a State of Emergency,” Abiy’s office said.

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

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    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

    Read more »

    The coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate

    By The Washington Post

    As the novel coronavirus sweeps across the United States, it appears to be infecting and killing black Americans at a disproportionately high rate, according to a Washington Post analysis of early data from jurisdictions across the country. The emerging stark racial disparity led the surgeon general Tuesday to acknowledge in personal terms the increased risk for African Americans amid growing demands that public-health officials release more data on the race of those who are sick, hospitalized and dying of a contagion that has killed more than 12,000 people in the United States. A Post analysis of what data is available and census demographics shows that counties that are majority-black have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are in the majority.

    Read more »

    In China, Wuhan’s lockdown officially ends after 11 weeks

    After 11 weeks — or 76 days — Wuhan’s lockdown is officially over. On Wednesday, Chinese authorities allowed residents to travel in and out of the besieged city where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in December. Many remnants of the months-long lockdown, however, remain. Wuhan’s 11 million residents will be able to leave only after receiving official authorization that they are healthy and haven’t recently been in contact with a coronavirus patient. To do so, the Chinese government is making use of its mandatory smartphone application that, along with other government surveillance, tracks the movement and health status of every person.

    Read more »

    U.S. hospitals facing ‘severe shortages’ of equipment and staff, watchdog says

    By The Washington Post

    As the official U.S. death toll approached 10,000, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams warned that this will be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”

    Read more »

    Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak

    By Tadias Staff

    PhantomALERT, a Washington D.C.-based technology company announced, that it’s offering a free application service to track, report and map COVID-19 outbreak hotspots in real time. In a recent letter to the DC government as well as the Ethiopian Embassy in the U.S. the Ethiopian-American owned business, which was launched in 2007, explained that over the past few days, they have redesigned their application to be “a dedicated coronavirus mapping, reporting and tracking application.” The letter to the Ethiopian Embassy, shared with Tadias, noted that PhantomALERT’s technology “will enable the Ethiopian government (and all other countries across the world) to locate symptomatic patients, provide medical assistance and alert communities of hotspots for the purpose of slowing down the spread of the Coronavirus.”

    Read more »

    2nd COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia

    By Dr. Lia Tadesse (Minister, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia)

    It is with great sadness that I announce the second death of a patient from #COVID19 in Ethiopia. The patient was admitted on April 2nd and was under strict medical follow up in the Intensive Care Unit. My sincere condolences to the family and loved ones.

    Read more »

    The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.


    People line up in their cars at the COVID-19 testing area at Roseland Community Hospital on April 3, 2020, in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

    By Chicago Tribune

    A new, different type of coronavirus test is coming that will help significantly in the fight to quell the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and scientists say. The first so-called serology test, which detects antibodies to the virus rather than the virus itself, was given emergency approval Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And several more are nearly ready, said Dr. Elizabeth McNally, director of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Center for Genetic Medicine.

    Read more »

    ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis

    By Tadias Staff

    Lately Ethiopian Airlines has been busy delivering much-needed medical supplies across Africa and emerging at the forefront of the continent’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic even as it has suspended most of its international passenger flights.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight

    By AFP

    Ethiopia’s government — like others in Africa — is confronting a stark ventilator shortage that could hobble its COVID-19 response. In a country of more than 100 million people, just 54 ventilators — out of around 450 total — had been set aside for COVID-19 patients as of this week, said Yakob Seman, director general of medical services at the health ministry.

    Read more »

    New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers


    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. (AP photo)

    By The Washington Post

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for a national enlistment of health-care workers organized by the U.S. military.

    Speaking on CNN’s New Day, he lamented that there has been no effort to mobilize doctors and nurses across the country and bring them to “the front” — first New York City and then other areas that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

    “If there’s not action by the president and the military literally in a matter of days to put in motion this vast mobilization,” de Blasio said, “then you’re going to see first hundreds and later thousands of Americans die who did not need to die.”

    He said he expects his city to be stretched for medical personnel starting Sunday, which he called “D-Day.” Many workers are out sick with the disease, he added, while others are “just stretched to the limit.”

    The mayor said he has told national leaders that they need to get on “wartime footing.”

    “The nation is in a peacetime stance while were actually in the middle of a war,” de Blasio said. “And if they don’t do something different in the next few days, they’re going to lose the window.”

    Read more »

    Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed

    By The Washington Post

    More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — a new record — as political and public health leaders put the economy in a deep freeze, keeping people at home and trying to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The past two weeks have seen more people file for unemployed claims than during the first six months of the Great Recession, a sign of how rapid, deep and painful the economic shutdown has been on many American families who are struggling to pay rent and health insurance costs in the midst of a pandemic. Job losses have skyrocketed as restaurants, hotel, gyms, and travel have shut down across the nation, but layoffs are also rising in manufacturing, warehousing and transportation, a sign of how widespread the pain of the coronavirus recession is. In March alone, 10.4 million Americans lost their jobs and applied for government aid, according to the latest Labor Department data, which includes claims filed through March 28. Many economists say the real number of people out work is likely even higher, since a lot of newly unemployed Americans haven’t been able to fill out a claim yet.

    Read more »

    U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II

    By The Washington Post

    The coronavirus outbreak sickening hundreds of thousands around the world and devastating the global economy is creating a challenge for the world not seen since World War II, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said late Tuesday. Speaking in a virtual news conference, Guterres said the world needs to show more solidarity and cooperation in fighting not only the medical aspects of the crisis but the economic fallout. The International Monetary Fund is predicting an economic recession worse than in 2008.

    Read more »

    US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,800 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.

    Read more »

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in the New York tri-state area has shared timely resources including COVID-19 safety information as well as national sources of financial support for families and small business owners.

    Read more »

    2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19

    By Tadias Staff

    The highly anticipated 2020 national election in Ethiopia has been canceled for now due to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that it has shelved its plans to hold the upcoming nationwide parliamentary polls on August 29th after an internal evaluation of the possible negative effect of the virus pandemic on its official activities.

    Read more »

    Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia on lockdown as coronavirus cases grow

    By The Washington Post

    Maryland, Virginia and the District issued “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, joining a growing list of states and cities mandating broad, enforceable restrictions on where residents can go in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    Read more »

    U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients

    By The Washington Post

    The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

    Read more »

    U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000

    By Bloomberg News

    A top U.S. infectious disease scientist said U.S. deaths could reach 200,000, but called it a moving target. New York’s fatalities neared 1,000, more than a third of the U.S. total.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: PM, WHO Director Discuss Coronavirus Response


    @fanatelevision/twitter

    By Tadias Staff

    Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed spoke with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, over the weekend regarding the Coronavirus response in Ethiopia and Africa in general.

    Read more »

    Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead

    By The Associated Press

    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths. While the U.S. now leads the world in reported infections — with more than 104,000 cases — five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

    Read more »

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    Read more »

    Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump

    By The Washington Post

    Masks that used to cost pennies now cost several dollars. Companies outside the traditional supply chain offer wildly varying levels of price and quality. Health authorities say they have few other choices to meet their needs in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ battle.

    Read more »

    Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus

    By VOA

    ADDIS ABABA – Health experts in Ethiopia are raising concern, as some religious leaders continue to host large gatherings despite government orders not to do so in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government ordered security forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopia has seen only 12 cases and no deaths from the virus, and authorities would like to keep it that way. But enforcing the orders has proven difficult as religious groups continue to meet and, according to religious leaders, fail to treat the risks seriously.

    Read more »

    U.S. deaths from coronavirus top 1,000

    By The Washington Post

    It began as a mysterious disease with frightening potential. Now, just two months after America’s first confirmed case, the country is grappling with a lethal reality: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate.

    Read more »

    A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy

    By The Washington Post

    A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

    Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

    “The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures. The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19


    Photo via amnesty.org

    As universities across Ethiopia close to avert spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to disclose measures they have taken to rescue 17 Amhara students from Dembi Dolo University in Western Oromia, who were abducted by unidentified people in November 2019 and have been missing since.

    The anguish of the students’ families is exacerbated by a phone and internet shutdown implemented in January across the western Oromia region further hampering their efforts to get information about their missing loved ones.

    “The sense of fear and uncertainty spreading across Ethiopia because of COVID-19 is exacerbating the anguish of these students’ families, who are desperate for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones four months after they were abducted,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa.

    “The Ethiopian authorities’ move to close universities in order to protect the lives of university students is commendable, but they must also take similarly concrete actions to locate and rescue the 17 missing students so that they too are reunited with their families.”

    Read more »

    UPDATE: New York City is now reporting 26,697 COVID-19 cases and 450 deaths.

    BY ABC7 NY

    Temporary hospital space in New York City will begin opening on Monday and more supplies are on the way as an already overwhelmed medical community anticipates even more coronavirus patients in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted 20 trucks were on the road delivering protective equipment to hospitals, including surgical masks, N95 masks, and hundreds more ventilators.

    Governor Cuomo added the temporary hospital in the Javits Center will open on Monday the same day that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York City.

    Read more »

    Related: New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard (REUTERS)

    L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    By Business Insider

    Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.

    “I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”

    In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.

    “I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.

    “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    By CNN

    Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has granted pardon to more than 4,000 prisoners in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    Sahle-Work Zewde announced the order in a tweet on Wednesday and said it would help prevent overcrowding in prisons.

    The directive only covers those given a maximum sentence of three years for minor crimes and those who were about to be released from jail, she said.

    There are 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ethiopia, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
    Authorities in the nation have put in place a raft of measures, including the closure of all borders except to those bringing in essential goods to contain the virus. The government has directed security officials to monitor and enforce a ban on large gatherings and overcrowded public transport to ensure social distancing.

    Read more »


    U.S. House passes $2 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill


    Watch: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York breaks down massive coronavirus aid package (MSNBC Video)

    By The Washington Post

    The House of Representatives voted Friday [March 27th] to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill that policy makers hope will blunt the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic, sending the legislation to President Trump for enactment. The legislation passed in dramatic fashion, approved on an overwhelming voice vote by lawmakers who’d been forced to return to Washington by a GOP colleague who had insisted on a quorum being present. Some lawmakers came from New York and other places where residents are supposed to be sheltering at home.

    Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Abiy seeks $150b for African virus response

    By AFP

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
    The pandemic “poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries,” Abiy’s office said in a statement, adding that Ethiopia was “working closely with other African countries” in preparing the aid request.

    The heavy debt burdens of many African countries leave them ill-equipped to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks, as the cost of servicing debt exceeds many countries’ health budgets, the statement said.

    Read more »

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)


    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough and the vast majority recover in 2-6 weeks but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health issues, the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    Read more »

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home


    A flier urging customers to remain home hangs at a turnstile as an MTA employee sanitizes surfaces at a subway station with bleach solutions due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe.

    Partisan divisions stalled efforts to pass a colossal aid package in Congress, and stocks fell again on Wall Street even after the Federal Reserve said it will lend to small and large businesses and local governments to help them through the crisis.

    Warning that the outbreak is accelerating, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action.

    “We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

    Read more »

    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)


    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    Read more »


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    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

  • WHO: Countries Complaining About Contact Tracing Are ‘Lame’

    Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), attends a press conference at the UN agency's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on June 25, 2020. Dr. Tedros dismissed complaints from countries complaining that contact tracing is too difficult to implement as a control strategy for the pandemic as “lame.” (AP photo)

    The Associated Press

    LONDON (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization on Monday dismissed complaints from countries complaining that contact tracing is too difficult to implement as a control strategy for the coronavirus pandemic as “lame.”

    The U.N. health agency has repeatedly advised countries that shutting down their COVID-19 outbreaks requires having a strong contact tracing program in place, a labor-intensive process of tracking down contacts of people with coronavirus to ensure those at risk isolate themselves.

    In recent months, countries with large outbreaks of COVID-19, including Britain and the U.S., have said there are simply too many contacts to trace for an effective system to be put into place.

    Britain had vowed to have a “world-class” contact tracing system in place earlier this month. But the U.K. ultimately ditched the digital app it developed for that purpose and politicians have acknowledged the program is not yet running at full strength despite recruiting thousands of workers. In recent weeks, British health officials have said their contact tracers are failing to reach about one quarter of people with the virus — leaving thousands of people free to pass on COVID-19.

    At a media briefing on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pointed to his emergencies director Dr. Michael Ryan as an example of someone willing to go to extraordinary lengths to conduct contact tracing, citing Ryan’s work — while wearing a bulletproof helmet and vest — during an Ebola outbreak in a part of Congo where armed groups had attacked and killed health workers.

    “He believed he had to do everything to stop Ebola and to show that saving lives actually requires that level of commitment,” Tedros said.

    Tedros said it wasn’t acceptable that some countries claimed there were too many contacts to trace and that the process itself was too difficult. He has previously lauded the contact tracing programs adopted by countries like South Korea, Singapore and China, which involved teams of health workers tracing tens of thousands of people and ensuring that those exposed to the virus were isolated.

    Tedros said that well-resourced countries that aren’t fighting wars have little excuse for not carrying out good contact tracing.

    “If contact tracing helps you to win the fight, you do it, even (when) risking your life,” he said. “If any country is saying contact tracing is difficult, it is a lame excuse.”

    He noted that Tuesday would mark six months since WHO was first informed by China of an unusual cluster of pneumonia cases, the first sign of coronavirus’ emergence. The disease has since sickened more than 10 million people and killed about 500,000.

    WHO said the pandemic was “accelerating,” particularly in the Americas.

    “The hard reality is that this is not even close to being over,” Tedros said. “The worst is yet to come.”

    Related:

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    If you are interested in becoming a COVID-19 Contact Tracer, you can learn more and register here: https://tracers.ethiodiasporacovid.com/

    U.S. tops 2.5 million reported cases

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    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    COVID-19 Cases Pass 10 Million Worldwide

    A worker of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) works at a temperature control point at the Bole International Airport, in Addis Ababa. (Getty Images)

    The Associated Press

    Confirmed coronavirus infections have surpassed the 10 million mark worldwide.

    A tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University registered the grim milestone Sunday, after India and Russia added thousands of new cases. The United States has confirmed more than 2.5 million infections, the most in the world.

    Globally, the Hopkins tally has reported nearly 500,000 deaths.

    While Hopkins reports only confirmed coronavirus cases, experts believe the true number of people who have been infected could be as much as 10 times that figure, given that so many people can’t get tested or may have the virus without showing any symptoms.

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    In Ethiopia, A Monk Said to Be 114 Years Old Survives Coronavirus

    Centenarian Aba Tilahun Woldemichael at his house in Addis Ababa on Saturday, June 27, 2020. The Ethiopian monk believed to be 114 years old has survived the coronavirus and was discharged from a hospital on Thursday, having received oxygen and dexamethasone, a cheap and widely available steroid that researchers in England have said reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    The Associated Press

    Updated: June 27, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — An Ethiopian Orthodox monk whose family says he is 114 years old has survived the coronavirus.

    Tilahun Woldemichael was discharged from a hospital on Thursday after almost three weeks. He received oxygen and dexamethasone, a cheap and widely available steroid that researchers in England have said reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients.

    Ethiopia’s health minister has said the ministry recommends the emergency use of the drug for COVID-19 patients who require ventilation or oxygen.

    Tilahun’s grandson Biniam Leulseged said he has no birth certificate to prove the monk’s age, but he showed a photo of him celebrating his 100th birthday.

    “He was looking young back then, too,” Biniam told The Associated Press on Saturday.

    He said he was emotional when his grandfather was taken to the hospital but “I am very happy because we are together again.”

    Ethiopia has more than 5,200 confirmed cases of the virus.


    Coronavirus in Ethiopia: ‘Incredible Recovery of Man Aged Over 100′ (BBC)


    Aba Tilahun Woldemichael’s family says he is 114, which would make him the world’s oldest man, but there is no birth certificate to confirm his age. (Photo: HANA ATSBEHA)

    BBC

    Updated: June 26th, 2020

    The recovery from coronavirus of an Ethiopian man who is believed to be at least 100 years old was “incredible”, one of the doctors who treated him told the BBC.

    Aba Tilahun Woldemichael’s family says he is 114, which would make him the world’s oldest man, but there is no birth certificate to confirm his age.

    The centenarian is now being looked after at home by his grandson.

    Aba Tilahun tested positive for the virus when a random screening process took place in his neighbourhood in the capital, Addis Ababa, and was admitted to hospital before the symptoms showed, Dr Hiluf Abate told the BBC’s Newsday programme.

    This allowed the medical team to be pro-active with its treatment and closely monitor the old man, he added.

    Within four days of his admission to the severe coronavirus ward in Yeka Kotebe hospital, Aba Tilahun’s condition deteriorated as the virus took hold and he was put on oxygen, Dr Hiluf said.

    In all he spent 14 days at the hospital, and was treated with oxygen for more than a week.

    Ethiopia, which has strict coronavirus restrictions, has recorded more than 5,000 confirmed cases and 81 deaths.

    Tumultuous times

    Although Yeka Kotebe cannot confirm that its patient is 114 years old, the medical team says that he is definitely older than 100 and has estimated that he is 109.

    In his youth, he moved to Addis Ababa from southern Ethiopia when he was young and has lived through tumultuous times in his country.

    He witnessed the Italian occupation between 1935 and 1941, the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974, the collapse of the Marxist Derg regime in 1991 and now he has survived Covid-19.

    For years he has lived a simple life as a monk with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. “Aba” is a title meaning “Father”.

    But when he was younger he worked as an electrician, house painter and general handyman, his 24-year-old grandson Binyam Lulseged Tilahun told the BBC.


    BINYAM LULSEGED TILAHUN, Aba Tilahun’s grandson, seen here with his grandfather several years ago, is now looking after him at home.

    His grandfather was doing well and looked healthy despite his age, however the after-effects of the virus had weakened his voice, Mr Binyam added.

    In order to curb the spread of coronavirus, Ethiopia introduced a state of emergency in April that closed schools and playgrounds, banned large gatherings and sporting events, and reduced passenger numbers on public transport. But businesses have remained open.

    Related:

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    No Lockdown, Few Ventilators, But Ethiopia is Beating Covid-19

    Ethiopian doctors train to use ventilators for Covid-19 patients in Addis Ababa. Authorities have readied quarantine places for 50,000 people and 15,000 beds in isolation centres (© Michael Tewelde/AFP/Getty)

    THE FINANCIAL TIMES

    The country has harnessed community healthcare to great effect to fight the pandemic

    Pick-up the phone in Ethiopia these days and you are greeted not by a ringtone but with a jingle urging the benefits of handwashing, social distancing and face masks. Churches and mosques are closed, with services conducted electronically. According to officials, community health workers have screened an astonishing 40m people in 11m households, verifying their travel history and conducting routine temperature checks. 

    Authorities have readied quarantine places for 50,000 people and 15,000 beds in isolation centres. Most of these have not been needed. For whatever reasons, Ethiopia has, thus far, avoided the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. According to official data, the east African country of 110m people, the continent’s second most populous, has recorded just 731cases of Covid-19 and six Covid-related deaths. True, the number has shot up in recent days, perhaps as a consequence of ramped-up testing or a sign that community transmission is gathering pace. 

    True, too, that not everyone will believe figures from a state with a history of authoritarian control, including of data. Yet there is little clear evidence of widespread outbreaks unaccounted for in official numbers, and even if the number of deaths were many times the state-sanctioned figure, they would still be small. The UK, a country with a little over half Ethiopia’s population, has recorded about 6,000 times more deaths. 

    Ethiopia’s technocratic government decided it could not afford a rich-country response to the virus. Though its economy has grown rapidly in recent decades, Ethiopia remains a poor country with a per capita income — adjusted for prices — of just $2,500. When the pandemic began, it had 22 ventilators dedicated to Covid. 

    Arkebe Oqubay, senior minister and special adviser to the prime minister, says the government concluded early it could not afford a lockdown that would be difficult to enforce and socially costly. Nor did it immediately stop direct flights from China, a stance for which it was much criticised. Instead, temperature checks were imposed at the international airport. Its first case came from Japan, he says, with later imported infections mainly from Europe.

    Instead of strict lockdown, Ethiopia chose a response built around public messaging. “This is not a disease you fight by ventilators or intensive care units,” says Mr Arkebe, “90 per cent of the solution is hand washing and social distancing. The only way we can play and win is if we focus on prevention.” 

    Read more »


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    Q&A: Ethiopia Health Minister Lia Tadesse

    Health Minister Liya Tadesse monitors the unloading of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    Thomson Reuters Foundation

    Lia Tadesse, Ethiopia’s new health minister, talks to the Thomson Reuters Foundation about the measures being rolled out to keep the country safe

    Lia Tadesse became Ethiopia’s health minister in mid-March, a day before the East African nation registered its first case of the new coronavirus.

    As the pandemic takes hold in Africa – Ethiopia has [398] cases and neighbouring Kenya more than 450 – Tadesse talked to the Thomson Reuters Foundation about the race to protect refugees, women and other vulnerable people from the virus.

    Are you concerned that Ethiopia’s fragile health system could soon be overwhelmed?

    If we get a lot of cases – and more severe cases – then that will definitely overwhelm the system. We are seeing this happen, not only in Ethiopia, but across the world.

    We are preparing as best we can: increasing our intensive care unit capacity and dedicating more ventilators to treatment facilities in Addis Ababa and other regions.

    The ventilators we have are still low in number – around 221 for COVID-19 – but we hope to get more soon.

    We are working with countries to secure more aid.

    Is there a risk that banning large gatherings and imposing social distancing will exacerbate social inequality?

    While we’re trying to prevent COVID, we don’t want people to die of other problems. The government is preparing social protections.

    Most businesses and major projects are continuing to sustain the economy and daily workers.

    The government is supporting vulnerable people affected by the measures through distributing food across the country.

    Is the deployment of thousands of female community health workers across the country to educate and screen individuals working?

    It’s in progress. We only started this recently so we’re hoping it will really support our COVID response.

    Early detection is a key point for the mitigation of the epidemic.

    These health workers are wearing masks and gloves and doing house-to-house surveillance to identify possible symptoms like fevers and coughs and to establish people’s recent travel.

    The health workers are also identifying people who have other illnesses but have not sought medical attention due to fears of the COVID epidemic.

    Can girls and women still access sexual and reproductive health services?

    Initially our communication was more focused on COVID-19 awareness but now we are also communicating key services like reproductive health.

    Community health workers are ensuring that women are aware these services are available and that some like family planning can be accessed in their households.

    Across the country we are educating about harmful practices like female genital mutilation and gender-based violence. It is a priority.

    Are you concerned about Ethiopia’s ability to contain the disease in refugee camps?

    Refugees and internally displaced people are one of the vulnerable populations we are looking at working with.

    We are working with different partners like the Agency for Refugees and Returnees Affairs and the U.N.’s migration agency to ensure that these communities have the necessary health screening and that we are keeping them safe through measures like hand-washing.

    This interview was shortened and edited for clarity.


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    US Okays Emergency Drug for Covid-19

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted an emergency use authorization to remdesivir, an antiviral drug, to treat Covid-19. (Photo: Gilead Sciences Inc/Handout via REUTERS)

    VOX

    Recent studies showed mixed results about remdesivir’s effectiveness in treating the new coronavirus.

    The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug, for emergency use to treat Covid-19.

    The authorization allows the intravenous drug to be distributed to doctors to administer to patients with severe disease, namely patients with low blood oxygen or those needing breathing assistance with a mechanical ventilator.

    Many health experts have had high hopes for the drug, which was initially developed by Gilead Sciences to treat Ebola, and it has since been used in experiments to treat the coronaviruses SARS and MERS. That early testing gave remdesivir a head start in the race for a treatment to Covid-19.

    But despite the release of some early study results this week, it’s still not clear how effective the drug is at fighting the virus, and more research is needed before it can be used as the default treatment.

    Remdesivir previously showed some success in animal models. Now, early results from a clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) show that Covid-19 patients who took remdesivir recovered 31 percent faster than those prescribed a placebo. An internal study from Gilead also found that the drug was just as effective over five days of use as it is over 10.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters at the White House on April 29 that he thought the findings were significant.

    “This is really quite important,” he said. “This will be the standard of care.”

    But a randomized trial of the drug in China recently published in the Lancet found that there was no statistical benefit to taking the drug.

    Taken together, the studies highlight the need for more studies. Remdesivir may or may not work, but it’s hard to say based on the evidence available at this point.

    Read more »


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    Young Covid Patients Dying From Strokes

    People walk around Times Square as screens are illuminated as part of the “Light It Blue” initiative to honor health care workers, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in New York City on April 23, 2020. (Reuters photo)

    The Washington Post

    Updated: April 25th, 2020

    Young and Middle-aged People, Barely Sick With Covid-19, Are Dying From Strokes

    Doctors sound alarm about patients in their 30s and 40s left debilitated or dead. Some didn’t even know they were infected.

    Thomas Oxley wasn’t even on call the day he received the page to come to Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan. There weren’t enough doctors to treat all the emergency stroke patients, and he was needed in the operating room.

    The patient’s chart appeared unremarkable at first glance. He took no medications and had no history of chronic conditions. He had been feeling fine, hanging out at home during the lockdown like the rest of the country, when suddenly, he had trouble talking and moving the right side of his body. Imaging showed a large blockage on the left side of his head.

    Oxley gasped when he got to the patient’s age and covid-19 status: 44, positive.

    The man was among several recent stroke patients in their 30s to 40s who were all infected with the coronavirus. The median age for that type of severe stroke is 74.

    As Oxley, an interventional neurologist, began the procedure to remove the clot, he observed something he had never seen before. On the monitors, the brain typically shows up as a tangle of black squiggles — “like a can of spaghetti,” he said — that provide a map of blood vessels. A clot shows up as a blank spot. As he used a needlelike device to pull out the clot, he saw new clots forming in real-time around it.

    “This is crazy,” he remembers telling his boss.

    Stroke surge

    Reports of strokes in the young and middle-aged — not just at Mount Sinai, but also in many other hospitals in communities hit hard by the novel coronavirus — are the latest twist in our evolving understanding of the disease it causes. The numbers of those affected are small but nonetheless remarkable because they challenge how doctors understand the virus. Even as it has infected nearly 2.8 million people worldwide and killed about 195,000 as of Friday, its biological mechanisms continue to elude top scientific minds. Once thought to be a pathogen that primarily attacks the lungs, it has turned out to be a much more formidable foe — impacting nearly every major organ system in the body.

    Read more »


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    Webinar on COVID-19 and Mental Health: Interview with Dr. Seble Frehywot

    Professors Seble Frehywot of George Washington University and Yianna Vovides of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. will be hosting a virtual conference on April 30, 2020 on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on mental health. (Courtesy photos)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Liben Eabisa

    Updated: April 25th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — Dr. Seble Frehywot, an Associate Professor of Global Health & Health Policy at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and her colleague Dr. Yianna Vovides from Georgetown University will host an online forum next week on April 30th focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on mental health.

    “This webinar topic is envisioned from the fact that mental health issues are the invisible disabilities that attention is not given to during the COVID-19 crisis,” the announcement states. “Usually, addressing the issues of mental health takes a back burner in pandemic response priorities. People are supposed to just become resilient and handle their mental health issues alone or if lucky with a loved one or a caregiver.”

    The organizers emphasize that they want “to bring mental health care in the era of COVID-19 to the front burner and discuss issues that affect humanity as a whole as well as vulnerable communities around the globe.”

    Dr. Seble — who is also the Director of Global Health Equity On-Line Learning at George Washington University – told Tadias that the virtual conference titled “People’s Webinar: Addressing COVID-19 By Addressing Mental Health” is open to the public and available for viewing worldwide.

    Below is the audio of my interview with Dr. Seble Frehywot:

    If You Attend:

    “People’s Webinar”- Addressing COVID-19 By Addressing Mental Health
    April 30, 2020
    8:00 – 9:00 am EST
    12:00pm-1:00pm GMT
    MODERATORS: Dr. Seble Frehywot & Dr. Yianna Vovides
    EXPERT SPEAKER: Dr. Brandon Kohrt
    Webinar registration site: www.ITfHESE.net

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    COVID-19: Interview with Dr. Tsion Firew, Ethiopian Doctor on the Frontline in NYC

    Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale

    Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak

    ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis

    Inspiring Amharic Poetry: A Reflection by Shimelis Amare (YouTube)

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Resources With Ethiopian Community

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    Art in the Time of Coronavirus: Guide to Virtual Exhibitions from Ethiopia to U.S.

    We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

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    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

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    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    COVID-19: Status of Upcoming Vaccines

    More than 70 vaccine candidates are in development around the world, with at least five in preliminary testing in people. Here are some of the drugs, vaccines and other therapies in development. (Reuters photo)

    Reuters

    The lifeline pipeline

    With much of the world living in lockdown, the spread of the new coronavirus that was first detected in China late last year is beginning to slow in some places. As of April 16, 2.2 million had been infected and 152,000 killed by COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

    While a safe, effective vaccine is still more than a year away, researchers are rushing to repurpose existing drugs and non-drug therapies as well as testing promising experimental drugs that were already in clinical trials.

    Even moderately effective therapies or combinations could dramatically reduce the crushing demand on hospitals and intensive care units, changing the nature of the risk the new pathogen represents to populations and healthcare systems. New drugs, together with new diagnostics, antibody tests, patient- and contact-tracing technologies, disease surveillance and other early-warning tools, mean the anticipated next ‘wave’ of the global pandemic does not have to be nearly as bad as the first.

    More than 70 vaccine candidates are also in development around the world, with at least five in preliminary testing in people. Here are some of the drugs, vaccines and other therapies in development:

    Remdesivir

    Antiviral drug, originally developed to combat RNA viruses including respiratory syncytial virus. At least 13 trials underway in China, Europe and the United States with preliminary results from two Chinese trials expected as soon as April 2020. A February assessment by the WHO flagged this candidate as the most promising for battling COVID-19.

    CAVEATS

    Initial data are expected to come from studies of patients with relatively severe COVID-19. Because antivirals work best when patients are healthier, those results may show limited effectiveness.

    Hydroxychloroquine / chloroquine

    Malaria drug also believed to have antiviral activity. Blocked SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells in an in-vitro experiment. In one small French study, some COVID-19 patients showed improvements but there was no way to know if the drug was the reason. Results published in April from another study in France and one in China found no benefit in patients treated with the drug. Dozens more clinical studies are underway around the world.

    Actemra (tocilizumab)

    Monoclonal antibody approved for rheumatoid arthritis and also for treating the “cytokine storm” immune overresponse in cancer patients. Fifteen registered trials in China, Europe and the United States are testing it on COVID-19 patients, alone or in comparison to other therapies. One French trial is looking at 28-day effects on COVID-19 in patients with advanced or metastatic cancer.

    Kevzara (sarilumab)

    Monoclonal antibody approved for inflammatory arthritis, and in trials targeting the “cytokine storm” immune response in severely ill COVID-19 patients. Regeneron’s chief scientific officer has said initial data on effectiveness could come by late April.

    Jakavi (ruxolitinib)

    Developed to treat inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and in late-stage development as a cream for atopic dermatitis. One trial each in Canada and Mexico will test the drug in COVID-19 patients with severe respiratory symptoms associated with the “cytokine storm” immune response, with preliminary results expected by June 2020. In the United States, Novartis established a managed access program for use in severe/very severe COVID-19 illness on April 7.

    mRNA 1273

    RNA vaccine made with messenger-RNA (mRNA) encoding the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 encapsulated in a lipid nanoparticle. The phase 1 trial with 45 subjects aged 18-55 at three locations in the United States will evaluate the vaccine’s safety and provide early data on the immune response it induces. Trial completion is anticipated to be June 1, 2020.
    FURTHER READING

    Convalescent plasma

    Blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients is transfused into patients who are currently ill, in the hope the freshly-made antibodies it contains will help fight the virus. The method has been used for more than 100 years and carries little risk of harm or side effects. Small case studies suggest it may help reduce virus levels, and controlled trials are in progress in China, Europe and the United States to gather stronger evidence for a benefit. Results published in April from a study in 10 patients with severe illness in China found significant improvement compared to similar patients who did not receive the treatment.

    CAVEATS

    Immediately available and already in limited use, but supply of plasma from recovered patients may not be sufficient to meet all needs. Further studies of recovered patients must also determine if everyone produces a full immune response to the infection, including “neutralizing antibodies,” at sufficiently high levels to become donors.
    FURTHER READING

    Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir)

    Antiviral combination used to treat and prevent HIV infections. More than twenty trials around the world are testing the drug as a COVID-19 treatment or post-exposure prophylaxis for people with high-risk close contact with a confirmed case. Initial results expected as soon as May 2020.

    CAVEATS

    One randomized controlled trial in China published results in March showing no differences in viral load or 28-day mortality among 199 patients. Median time to clinical improvement was one day shorter in patients taking the drug. However the same investigators, doctors at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, said in April that they believe Kaletra, as well as a second drug, bismuth potassium citrate, helped some of the COVID-19 patients they treated.

    NKG2D-ACE2 CAR-NK cells

    NKG2D receptor for the immune system’s natural killer (NK) cells paired with the ACE-2 receptor that the coronavirus uses to enter human cells. A multicenter Phase 1/2 trial in 90 patients is testing whether this cell therapy can prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering cells and multiplying, and will look at efficacy over 28 days in patients with severe or critical COVID-19 pneumonia.
    FURTHER READING

    NVX-CoV2373

    Novavax said its Matrix-M adjuvant would be used with the vaccine candidate – NVX-CoV2373 – to enhance immune responses. Trial in 130 adults is expected to begin in mid-May with with preliminary immunogenicity and safety results in July, according to the company.

    CAVEATS

    Strong immunogenicity in animal tests, but might require two doses in humans, which would limit supply.
    FURTHER READING

    RhACE2 APN01

    A recombinant human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (rhACE2) under Phase-2 clinical development in ALI (Acute Lung Injury) and PAH (Pulmonal arterial hypertension). This synthetic version of the human protein that the novel coronavirus uses to enter cells is being tested in Austria to see if it can block viral entry and decrease viral replication in COVID-19 patients, reducing deaths or need for mechanical ventilation. Preliminary results from the trial that was announced on April 2 are expected in September 2020.
    FURTHER READING

    Lentiviral Minigene Vaccines (LV-SMENP)

    Engineered minigenes encoding viral antigens; lentiviral vector designed to infect dendritic and T cells to induce immunity. The trial in 100 adults in Shenzen, China, is expected to be complete by July 31, 2020.
    FURTHER READING

    BCG tuberculosis vaccine

    Bacillus Calmette-Guérin tuberculosis vaccine that induces a broad innate immune-system response, which has been shown to protect against infection or severe illness with other respiratory pathogens. Large trials in Australia and the Netherlands are testing whether using BCG to rev-up immune defenses in health workers and the elderly reduces unplanned absenteeism, respiratory illnesses including COVID-19, severe illnesses and deaths. Two additional trials by the Max Planck Institute in Germany of a TB vaccine candidate, VPM1002, are in the works.

    INO-4800

    DNA plasmid vaccine delivered into the skin via a patch-style electroporation device. A clinical trial launched on April 3 could yield preliminary data by late summer, according to the company, which has said it can manufacture 1 million doses by year-end for additional trials and emergency use.

    Camostat mesylate

    Protease inhibitor licensed in Japan and South Korea to treat chronic pancreatitis. In vitro experiments found it blocks a mechanism SARS-Cov-2 uses to enter human cells. As of early April, an estimated 180 COVID-19 patients aged 18-110 were being recruited at nine locations in Denmark for a phase 2a trial that will examine 30-day changes in disease severity and mortality, with results expected by December 2020. The University of Tokyo also announced plans for a trial of camostat mesylate and a related drug, nafamostat mesylate, starting as early as April 2020.

    IFX-1

    Monoclonal antibody targeting complement activation product C5a. Designed to block a mechanism of inflammation, the drug is also in clinical trials for Hidradenitis Suppurativa, ANCA-associated vasculitis and Pyoderma Gangraenosum. In early April, a trial in the Netherlands launched to test IFX-1 in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, with preliminary results expected in late October 2020.

    AD5-nCov

    Non-replicating viral vector. A single-center phase 1 trial with 108 subjects aged 18-60 in Wuhan, Hubei, China, started in March to test the safety and immune responses generated by a recombinant vaccine that uses another respiratory virus, adenovirus, as a vector. On April 12, a randomized controlled phase 2 trial with 500 participants launched to test varying doses against placebo. Phase 1 completion is in late December 2020, and phase 2 results are expected in January 2021.
    FURTHER READING

    Aspirin, Clopidogrel, Rivaroxaban, Atorvastatin, Omeprazole

    Trial of cardioprotective drugs to prevent direct damage to the heart muscle that appears to drive the severity of COVID-19 in certain patients as well as their likelihood of needing invasive critical care. The trial will include more than 3,000 patients in the United Kingdom, with a completion date of March 30, 2021.
    FURTHER READING

    ChAdOx1

    Non-replicating chimpanzee adenovirus vector. Phase 1/2 trial with 510 subjects aged 18-55 at four centers in the United Kingdom. The trial will test safety and immunogenicity of one or two doses of the vaccine, and is expected to be completed in May 2021.

    Serology / Antibody Testing

    Governments and academic groups have started to test blood for antibodies indicating that a person has been exposed to the new virus, with or without showing symptoms. The presence of antibodies indicates past infection, but separate, ongoing research is needed to know what type and concentration of virus-neutralizing antibodies protect against a new infection, whether all infections produce a full antibody response, and how long protection might last.

    Wide serology testing for antibodies will soon provide a broader understanding of the scope and dynamics of the pandemic, help identify which recovered patients may have some immunity to reinfection and for how long, and also help identify the neutralizing antibodies that could become templates for monoclonal antibody therapies as well as models for desired responses from a vaccine candidate. Data from serology testing are expected to begin appearing within weeks.

    CAVEATS

    Early data on COVID-19 patients in China suggests that most develop varying amounts of antibodies in response to infection. One pre-publication report analyzed plasma from 175 patients and found that a sign of inflammation correlated with higher antibody titers and that younger patients were less likely to produce large amounts of antibodies.

    Experts think instances of “reinfection” in recovered patients are more likely relapses in patients whose bodies had not cleared the virus. Data is still lacking on whether mild or symptomless infections generate meaningful antibody responses or protection.


    Related:

    In Ethiopia, Dire Dawa Emerges as Newest Hot Spot as Coronavirus Cases Reach 111 (LATEST UPDATE)

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    Ethiopia Cases of Coronavirus Surpass 100

    Medical equipment is loaded into an aircraft in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as part of a UN “Solidarity Flight” to deliver supplies to African countries fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: WFP)

    THE LATEST UPDATE:

    Updated: April 18th, 2020

  • UN COVID-19 Major airlift operation reaches ‘most vulnerable’ African nations
  • Ethiopia Cases of Coronavirus Surpass 100
  • In U.S., New York’s Cuomo attacks Trump’s pandemic response
  • Doctor who sounded the alarm about covid-19 is now a children’s book hero
  • Ethiopia Opens Aid Transport Hub to Fight Covid-19
  • Ethiopia to buy life insurance for health workers
  • IMF says COVID-19 pandemic is causing worst global economic downturn since Great Depression
  • U.N. says Saudi deportations of Ethiopian migrants risks spreading coronavirus
  • Ethiopia’s capital launches door-to-door Covid-19 screening
  • Worldwide deaths from the coronavirus hit 100,000
  • Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale
  • Ethiopia eyes replicating China’s successes in applying traditional medicine to contain COVID-19
  • WHO Director Slams ‘Racist’ Comments About COVID-19 Vaccine Testing
  • Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency, Recruits Health Workers to Fight Virus
  • The virus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate, a Post analysis shows
  • In China, Wuhan’s lockdown officially ends after 11 weeks
  • U.S. coronavirus deaths surpass 10,000
  • U.S. Government urged to release race, ethnicity data on covid-19 cases
  • Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak
  • 2nd COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia
  • The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.
  • New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers
  • ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis
  • Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight
  • Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise
  • Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed
  • U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II
  • US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC
  • Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community
  • 2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19
  • DC Metro Area Goes on Lockdown
  • U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients
  • U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000
  • The Curious Case of Ethiopian Traditional Medicine Covid-19 Treatment & Need for Caution
  • Ethiopia: PM Abiy spoke with Dr. Tedros regarding the Coronavirus response in Africa
  • COVID-19: Fire brigades disinfect Ethiopian capital
  • The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming
  • In Tunisia Factory Workers Making 50k Masks a Day While in Voluntary Lockdown
  • Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead
  • Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community
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  • Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus
  • A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy
  • Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19
  • Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    Ethiopia Opens Aid Transport Hub to Fight Covid-19

    By AFP

    Ethiopia and the United Nations on Tuesday opened a humanitarian transport hub at Addis Ababa airport to move supplies and aid workers across Africa to fight coronavirus. The arrangement, which relies on cargo services provided by Ethiopian Airlines, could also partially offset heavy losses Africa’s largest carrier is sustaining because of the pandemic. An initial shipment of 3 000 cubic metres of supplies – most of it personal protective equipment for health workers – will be distributed within the next week, said Steven Were Omamo, Ethiopia country director for the World Food Programme (WFP). “This is a really important platform in the response to Covid-19, because what it does is it allows us to move with speed and efficiency to respond to the needs as they are unfolding,” Omamo said, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus. The Addis gateway is one of eight global humanitarian hubs set up to facilitate movement of aid to fight Covid-19, according to WFP.

    Read more »

    Covid-19: Ethiopia to buy life insurance for health workers

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    The Ethiopian government is due to buy life insurance for health professionals in direct contact with Covid-19 patients. Health minister Lia Tadesse said on Tuesday that the government last week reached an agreement with the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation but did not disclose the value of the cover. The two sides are expected to sign an agreement this week to effect the insurance grant. According to the ministry, the life insurance grant is aimed at encouraging health experts who are the most vulnerable to the deadly coronavirus. Members of the Rapid Response Team will also benefit.

    Read more »

    U.N. says Saudi deportations of Ethiopian migrants risks spreading coronavirus

    By Reuters

    The United Nations said on Monday that deportations of illegal migrant workers by Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia risked spreading the coronavirus and it urged Riyadh to suspend the practice for the time being.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia’s capital launches door-to-door Covid-19 screening


    Getty Images

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa is due to begin a door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening across the city, Addis Ababa city administration has announced. City deputy Mayor, Takele Uma, on Saturday told local journalists that the mass screening and testing programme will be started Monday (April 13) first in districts which are identified as potentially most vulnerable to the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus. The aggressive city-wide screening measure intends to identify Covid-19 infected patients and thereby to arrest a potential virus spread within communities. He said, the mass screening will eventually be carried out in all 117 districts, locally known as woredas, of the city, which is home to an estimated 7 million inhabitants. According to the Mayor, the door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening will be conducted by more than 1,200 retired health professionals, who responded to government’s call on the retired to join the national fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

    Read more »

    Worldwide deaths from the coronavirus hit 100,000

    By The Associated Press

    The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has hit 100,000, according to the running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. The sad milestone comes as Christians around the globe mark a Good Friday unlike any other — in front of computer screens instead of in church pews. Meanwhile, some countries are tiptoeing toward reopening segments of their battered economies. Public health officials are warning people against violating the social distancing rules over Easter and allowing the virus to flare up again. Authorities are using roadblocks and other means to discourage travel.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    A network of technology professionals from the Ethiopian Diaspora — known as the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team – has been assisting the Ethiopian Ministry of Health since the nation’s first Coronavirus case was confirmed on March 13th. The COVID-19 Response Team has since grown into an army of more than a thousand volunteers. Mike Endale, a software developer based in Washington, D.C., is the main person behind the launch of this project. Read more »

    Ethiopia eyes replicating China’s successes in applying traditional medicine to contain COVID-19

    By CGTN Africa

    The Ethiopian government on Thursday expressed its keen interest to replicate China’s positive experience in terms of effectively applying traditional Chinese medicine to successfully contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the East African country.

    This came after high-level officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MoIT) as well as the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) held a video conference with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and researchers on ways of applying the TCM therapy towards controlling the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country, the MoIT disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday.

    “China, in particular, has agreed to provide to Ethiopia the two types of Chinese traditional medicines that the country applied to successfully treat the first two stages of the novel coronavirus,” a statement from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology read.

    Read more »

    WHO Director Slams ‘Racist’ Comments About COVID-19 Vaccine Testing


    The Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has angrily condemned recent comments made by scientists suggesting that a vaccine for COVID-19 should be tested in Africa as “racist” and a hangover from the “colonial mentality”. (Photo: WHO)

    By BBC

    The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has condemned as “racist” the comments by two French doctors who suggested a vaccine for the coronavirus could be tested in Africa.

    “Africa can’t and won’t be a testing ground for any vaccine,” said Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

    The doctors’ remarks during a TV debate sparked outrage, and they were accused of treating Africans like “human guinea pigs”.

    One of them later issued an apology.

    When asked about the doctors’ suggestion during the WHO’s coronavirus briefing, Dr Tedros became visibly angry, calling it a hangover from the “colonial mentality”.

    “It was a disgrace, appalling, to hear during the 21st Century, to hear from scientists, that kind of remark. We condemn this in the strongest terms possible, and we assure you that this will not happen,” he said.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia declares state of emergency to curb spread of COVID-19

    By Reuters

    Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the country to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus, his office said on Twitter. “Considering the gravity of the #COVID19, the government of Ethiopia has enacted a State of Emergency,” Abiy’s office said.

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

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    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

    Read more »

    The coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate

    By The Washington Post

    As the novel coronavirus sweeps across the United States, it appears to be infecting and killing black Americans at a disproportionately high rate, according to a Washington Post analysis of early data from jurisdictions across the country. The emerging stark racial disparity led the surgeon general Tuesday to acknowledge in personal terms the increased risk for African Americans amid growing demands that public-health officials release more data on the race of those who are sick, hospitalized and dying of a contagion that has killed more than 12,000 people in the United States. A Post analysis of what data is available and census demographics shows that counties that are majority-black have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are in the majority.

    Read more »

    In China, Wuhan’s lockdown officially ends after 11 weeks

    After 11 weeks — or 76 days — Wuhan’s lockdown is officially over. On Wednesday, Chinese authorities allowed residents to travel in and out of the besieged city where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in December. Many remnants of the months-long lockdown, however, remain. Wuhan’s 11 million residents will be able to leave only after receiving official authorization that they are healthy and haven’t recently been in contact with a coronavirus patient. To do so, the Chinese government is making use of its mandatory smartphone application that, along with other government surveillance, tracks the movement and health status of every person.

    Read more »

    U.S. hospitals facing ‘severe shortages’ of equipment and staff, watchdog says

    By The Washington Post

    As the official U.S. death toll approached 10,000, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams warned that this will be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”

    Read more »

    Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak

    By Tadias Staff

    PhantomALERT, a Washington D.C.-based technology company announced, that it’s offering a free application service to track, report and map COVID-19 outbreak hotspots in real time. In a recent letter to the DC government as well as the Ethiopian Embassy in the U.S. the Ethiopian-American owned business, which was launched in 2007, explained that over the past few days, they have redesigned their application to be “a dedicated coronavirus mapping, reporting and tracking application.” The letter to the Ethiopian Embassy, shared with Tadias, noted that PhantomALERT’s technology “will enable the Ethiopian government (and all other countries across the world) to locate symptomatic patients, provide medical assistance and alert communities of hotspots for the purpose of slowing down the spread of the Coronavirus.”

    Read more »

    2nd COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia

    By Dr. Lia Tadesse (Minister, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia)

    It is with great sadness that I announce the second death of a patient from #COVID19 in Ethiopia. The patient was admitted on April 2nd and was under strict medical follow up in the Intensive Care Unit. My sincere condolences to the family and loved ones.

    Read more »

    The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.


    People line up in their cars at the COVID-19 testing area at Roseland Community Hospital on April 3, 2020, in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

    By Chicago Tribune

    A new, different type of coronavirus test is coming that will help significantly in the fight to quell the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and scientists say. The first so-called serology test, which detects antibodies to the virus rather than the virus itself, was given emergency approval Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And several more are nearly ready, said Dr. Elizabeth McNally, director of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Center for Genetic Medicine.

    Read more »

    ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis

    By Tadias Staff

    Lately Ethiopian Airlines has been busy delivering much-needed medical supplies across Africa and emerging at the forefront of the continent’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic even as it has suspended most of its international passenger flights.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight

    By AFP

    Ethiopia’s government — like others in Africa — is confronting a stark ventilator shortage that could hobble its COVID-19 response. In a country of more than 100 million people, just 54 ventilators — out of around 450 total — had been set aside for COVID-19 patients as of this week, said Yakob Seman, director general of medical services at the health ministry.

    Read more »

    New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers


    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. (AP photo)

    By The Washington Post

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for a national enlistment of health-care workers organized by the U.S. military.

    Speaking on CNN’s New Day, he lamented that there has been no effort to mobilize doctors and nurses across the country and bring them to “the front” — first New York City and then other areas that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

    “If there’s not action by the president and the military literally in a matter of days to put in motion this vast mobilization,” de Blasio said, “then you’re going to see first hundreds and later thousands of Americans die who did not need to die.”

    He said he expects his city to be stretched for medical personnel starting Sunday, which he called “D-Day.” Many workers are out sick with the disease, he added, while others are “just stretched to the limit.”

    The mayor said he has told national leaders that they need to get on “wartime footing.”

    “The nation is in a peacetime stance while were actually in the middle of a war,” de Blasio said. “And if they don’t do something different in the next few days, they’re going to lose the window.”

    Read more »

    Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed

    By The Washington Post

    More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — a new record — as political and public health leaders put the economy in a deep freeze, keeping people at home and trying to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The past two weeks have seen more people file for unemployed claims than during the first six months of the Great Recession, a sign of how rapid, deep and painful the economic shutdown has been on many American families who are struggling to pay rent and health insurance costs in the midst of a pandemic. Job losses have skyrocketed as restaurants, hotel, gyms, and travel have shut down across the nation, but layoffs are also rising in manufacturing, warehousing and transportation, a sign of how widespread the pain of the coronavirus recession is. In March alone, 10.4 million Americans lost their jobs and applied for government aid, according to the latest Labor Department data, which includes claims filed through March 28. Many economists say the real number of people out work is likely even higher, since a lot of newly unemployed Americans haven’t been able to fill out a claim yet.

    Read more »

    U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II

    By The Washington Post

    The coronavirus outbreak sickening hundreds of thousands around the world and devastating the global economy is creating a challenge for the world not seen since World War II, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said late Tuesday. Speaking in a virtual news conference, Guterres said the world needs to show more solidarity and cooperation in fighting not only the medical aspects of the crisis but the economic fallout. The International Monetary Fund is predicting an economic recession worse than in 2008.

    Read more »

    US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,800 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.

    Read more »

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in the New York tri-state area has shared timely resources including COVID-19 safety information as well as national sources of financial support for families and small business owners.

    Read more »

    2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19

    By Tadias Staff

    The highly anticipated 2020 national election in Ethiopia has been canceled for now due to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that it has shelved its plans to hold the upcoming nationwide parliamentary polls on August 29th after an internal evaluation of the possible negative effect of the virus pandemic on its official activities.

    Read more »

    Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia on lockdown as coronavirus cases grow

    By The Washington Post

    Maryland, Virginia and the District issued “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, joining a growing list of states and cities mandating broad, enforceable restrictions on where residents can go in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    Read more »

    U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients

    By The Washington Post

    The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

    Read more »

    U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000

    By Bloomberg News

    A top U.S. infectious disease scientist said U.S. deaths could reach 200,000, but called it a moving target. New York’s fatalities neared 1,000, more than a third of the U.S. total.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: PM, WHO Director Discuss Coronavirus Response


    @fanatelevision/twitter

    By Tadias Staff

    Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed spoke with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, over the weekend regarding the Coronavirus response in Ethiopia and Africa in general.

    Read more »

    Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead

    By The Associated Press

    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths. While the U.S. now leads the world in reported infections — with more than 104,000 cases — five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

    Read more »

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    Read more »

    Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump

    By The Washington Post

    Masks that used to cost pennies now cost several dollars. Companies outside the traditional supply chain offer wildly varying levels of price and quality. Health authorities say they have few other choices to meet their needs in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ battle.

    Read more »

    Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus

    By VOA

    ADDIS ABABA – Health experts in Ethiopia are raising concern, as some religious leaders continue to host large gatherings despite government orders not to do so in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government ordered security forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopia has seen only 12 cases and no deaths from the virus, and authorities would like to keep it that way. But enforcing the orders has proven difficult as religious groups continue to meet and, according to religious leaders, fail to treat the risks seriously.

    Read more »

    U.S. deaths from coronavirus top 1,000

    By The Washington Post

    It began as a mysterious disease with frightening potential. Now, just two months after America’s first confirmed case, the country is grappling with a lethal reality: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate.

    Read more »

    A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy

    By The Washington Post

    A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

    Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

    “The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures. The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19


    Photo via amnesty.org

    As universities across Ethiopia close to avert spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to disclose measures they have taken to rescue 17 Amhara students from Dembi Dolo University in Western Oromia, who were abducted by unidentified people in November 2019 and have been missing since.

    The anguish of the students’ families is exacerbated by a phone and internet shutdown implemented in January across the western Oromia region further hampering their efforts to get information about their missing loved ones.

    “The sense of fear and uncertainty spreading across Ethiopia because of COVID-19 is exacerbating the anguish of these students’ families, who are desperate for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones four months after they were abducted,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa.

    “The Ethiopian authorities’ move to close universities in order to protect the lives of university students is commendable, but they must also take similarly concrete actions to locate and rescue the 17 missing students so that they too are reunited with their families.”

    Read more »

    UPDATE: New York City is now reporting 26,697 COVID-19 cases and 450 deaths.

    BY ABC7 NY

    Temporary hospital space in New York City will begin opening on Monday and more supplies are on the way as an already overwhelmed medical community anticipates even more coronavirus patients in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted 20 trucks were on the road delivering protective equipment to hospitals, including surgical masks, N95 masks, and hundreds more ventilators.

    Governor Cuomo added the temporary hospital in the Javits Center will open on Monday the same day that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York City.

    Read more »

    Related: New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard (REUTERS)

    L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    By Business Insider

    Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.

    “I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”

    In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.

    “I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.

    “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    By CNN

    Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has granted pardon to more than 4,000 prisoners in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    Sahle-Work Zewde announced the order in a tweet on Wednesday and said it would help prevent overcrowding in prisons.

    The directive only covers those given a maximum sentence of three years for minor crimes and those who were about to be released from jail, she said.

    There are 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ethiopia, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
    Authorities in the nation have put in place a raft of measures, including the closure of all borders except to those bringing in essential goods to contain the virus. The government has directed security officials to monitor and enforce a ban on large gatherings and overcrowded public transport to ensure social distancing.

    Read more »


    U.S. House passes $2 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill


    Watch: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York breaks down massive coronavirus aid package (MSNBC Video)

    By The Washington Post

    The House of Representatives voted Friday [March 27th] to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill that policy makers hope will blunt the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic, sending the legislation to President Trump for enactment. The legislation passed in dramatic fashion, approved on an overwhelming voice vote by lawmakers who’d been forced to return to Washington by a GOP colleague who had insisted on a quorum being present. Some lawmakers came from New York and other places where residents are supposed to be sheltering at home.

    Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Abiy seeks $150b for African virus response

    By AFP

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
    The pandemic “poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries,” Abiy’s office said in a statement, adding that Ethiopia was “working closely with other African countries” in preparing the aid request.

    The heavy debt burdens of many African countries leave them ill-equipped to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks, as the cost of servicing debt exceeds many countries’ health budgets, the statement said.

    Read more »

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)


    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough and the vast majority recover in 2-6 weeks but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health issues, the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    Read more »

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home


    A flier urging customers to remain home hangs at a turnstile as an MTA employee sanitizes surfaces at a subway station with bleach solutions due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe.

    Partisan divisions stalled efforts to pass a colossal aid package in Congress, and stocks fell again on Wall Street even after the Federal Reserve said it will lend to small and large businesses and local governments to help them through the crisis.

    Warning that the outbreak is accelerating, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action.

    “We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

    Read more »

    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)


    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    Read more »


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    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

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    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

  • LATEST UPDATE: Coronavirus Pandemic

    Habtamu Kehali, a trainer of mechanical ventilators, provides training for doctors on how to use mechanical ventilators for the Covid-19 coronavirus patients at the American Medical Center (AMC) in Addis Ababa, on April 1, 2020. PHOTO | MICHAEL TEWELDE | AFP

    THE LATEST UPDATE:

    Updated: April 15th, 2020

  • Ethiopia Opens Aid Transport Hub to Fight Covid-19
  • Ethiopia confirmed coronavirus cases Approach 100
  • Ethiopia to buy life insurance for health workers
  • IMF says COVID-19 pandemic is causing worst global economic downturn since Great Depression
  • U.N. says Saudi deportations of Ethiopian migrants risks spreading coronavirus
  • Ethiopia’s capital launches door-to-door Covid-19 screening
  • Worldwide deaths from the coronavirus hit 100,000
  • Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale
  • Ethiopia eyes replicating China’s successes in applying traditional medicine to contain COVID-19
  • WHO Director Slams ‘Racist’ Comments About COVID-19 Vaccine Testing
  • Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency, Recruits Health Workers to Fight Virus
  • Ethiopia virus cases hit 52, 9-month-old baby infected
  • The virus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate, a Post analysis shows
  • In China, Wuhan’s lockdown officially ends after 11 weeks
  • U.S. coronavirus deaths surpass 10,000
  • U.S. Government urged to release race, ethnicity data on covid-19 cases
  • Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak
  • 2nd COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia
  • The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.
  • New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers
  • ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis
  • Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight
  • Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise
  • Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed
  • U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II
  • US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC
  • Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community
  • 2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19
  • DC Metro Area Goes on Lockdown
  • U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients
  • U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000
  • The Curious Case of Ethiopian Traditional Medicine Covid-19 Treatment & Need for Caution
  • Ethiopia: PM Abiy spoke with Dr. Tedros regarding the Coronavirus response in Africa
  • COVID-19: Fire brigades disinfect Ethiopian capital
  • The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming
  • In Tunisia Factory Workers Making 50k Masks a Day While in Voluntary Lockdown
  • Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead
  • Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community
  • Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump
  • Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus
  • A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy
  • Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19
  • Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    Covid-19: Ethiopia to buy life insurance for health workers

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    The Ethiopian government is due to buy life insurance for health professionals in direct contact with Covid-19 patients. Health minister Lia Tadesse said on Tuesday that the government last week reached an agreement with the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation but did not disclose the value of the cover. The two sides are expected to sign an agreement this week to effect the insurance grant. According to the ministry, the life insurance grant is aimed at encouraging health experts who are the most vulnerable to the deadly coronavirus. Members of the Rapid Response Team will also benefit.

    Read more »

    U.N. says Saudi deportations of Ethiopian migrants risks spreading coronavirus

    By Reuters

    The United Nations said on Monday that deportations of illegal migrant workers by Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia risked spreading the coronavirus and it urged Riyadh to suspend the practice for the time being.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia’s capital launches door-to-door Covid-19 screening

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa is due to begin a door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening across the city, Addis Ababa city administration has announced. City deputy Mayor, Takele Uma, on Saturday told local journalists that the mass screening and testing programme will be started Monday (April 13) first in districts which are identified as potentially most vulnerable to the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus. The aggressive city-wide screening measure intends to identify Covid-19 infected patients and thereby to arrest a potential virus spread within communities. He said, the mass screening will eventually be carried out in all 117 districts, locally known as woredas, of the city, which is home to an estimated 7 million inhabitants. According to the Mayor, the door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening will be conducted by more than 1,200 retired health professionals, who responded to government’s call on the retired to join the national fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

    Read more »

    Worldwide deaths from the coronavirus hit 100,000

    By The Associated Press

    The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has hit 100,000, according to the running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. The sad milestone comes as Christians around the globe mark a Good Friday unlike any other — in front of computer screens instead of in church pews. Meanwhile, some countries are tiptoeing toward reopening segments of their battered economies. Public health officials are warning people against violating the social distancing rules over Easter and allowing the virus to flare up again. Authorities are using roadblocks and other means to discourage travel.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    A network of technology professionals from the Ethiopian Diaspora — known as the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team – has been assisting the Ethiopian Ministry of Health since the nation’s first Coronavirus case was confirmed on March 13th. The COVID-19 Response Team has since grown into an army of more than a thousand volunteers. Mike Endale, a software developer based in Washington, D.C., is the main person behind the launch of this project. Read more »

    Ethiopia eyes replicating China’s successes in applying traditional medicine to contain COVID-19

    By CGTN Africa

    The Ethiopian government on Thursday expressed its keen interest to replicate China’s positive experience in terms of effectively applying traditional Chinese medicine to successfully contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the East African country.

    This came after high-level officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MoIT) as well as the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) held a video conference with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and researchers on ways of applying the TCM therapy towards controlling the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country, the MoIT disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday.

    “China, in particular, has agreed to provide to Ethiopia the two types of Chinese traditional medicines that the country applied to successfully treat the first two stages of the novel coronavirus,” a statement from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology read.

    Read more »

    WHO Director Slams ‘Racist’ Comments About COVID-19 Vaccine Testing


    The Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has angrily condemned recent comments made by scientists suggesting that a vaccine for COVID-19 should be tested in Africa as “racist” and a hangover from the “colonial mentality”. (Photo: WHO)

    By BBC

    The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has condemned as “racist” the comments by two French doctors who suggested a vaccine for the coronavirus could be tested in Africa.

    “Africa can’t and won’t be a testing ground for any vaccine,” said Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

    The doctors’ remarks during a TV debate sparked outrage, and they were accused of treating Africans like “human guinea pigs”.

    One of them later issued an apology.

    When asked about the doctors’ suggestion during the WHO’s coronavirus briefing, Dr Tedros became visibly angry, calling it a hangover from the “colonial mentality”.

    “It was a disgrace, appalling, to hear during the 21st Century, to hear from scientists, that kind of remark. We condemn this in the strongest terms possible, and we assure you that this will not happen,” he said.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia declares state of emergency to curb spread of COVID-19

    By Reuters

    Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the country to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus, his office said on Twitter. “Considering the gravity of the #COVID19, the government of Ethiopia has enacted a State of Emergency,” Abiy’s office said.

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

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    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

    Read more »

    The coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate

    By The Washington Post

    As the novel coronavirus sweeps across the United States, it appears to be infecting and killing black Americans at a disproportionately high rate, according to a Washington Post analysis of early data from jurisdictions across the country. The emerging stark racial disparity led the surgeon general Tuesday to acknowledge in personal terms the increased risk for African Americans amid growing demands that public-health officials release more data on the race of those who are sick, hospitalized and dying of a contagion that has killed more than 12,000 people in the United States. A Post analysis of what data is available and census demographics shows that counties that are majority-black have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are in the majority.

    Read more »

    In China, Wuhan’s lockdown officially ends after 11 weeks

    After 11 weeks — or 76 days — Wuhan’s lockdown is officially over. On Wednesday, Chinese authorities allowed residents to travel in and out of the besieged city where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in December. Many remnants of the months-long lockdown, however, remain. Wuhan’s 11 million residents will be able to leave only after receiving official authorization that they are healthy and haven’t recently been in contact with a coronavirus patient. To do so, the Chinese government is making use of its mandatory smartphone application that, along with other government surveillance, tracks the movement and health status of every person.

    Read more »

    U.S. hospitals facing ‘severe shortages’ of equipment and staff, watchdog says

    By The Washington Post

    As the official U.S. death toll approached 10,000, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams warned that this will be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”

    Read more »

    Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak

    By Tadias Staff

    PhantomALERT, a Washington D.C.-based technology company announced, that it’s offering a free application service to track, report and map COVID-19 outbreak hotspots in real time. In a recent letter to the DC government as well as the Ethiopian Embassy in the U.S. the Ethiopian-American owned business, which was launched in 2007, explained that over the past few days, they have redesigned their application to be “a dedicated coronavirus mapping, reporting and tracking application.” The letter to the Ethiopian Embassy, shared with Tadias, noted that PhantomALERT’s technology “will enable the Ethiopian government (and all other countries across the world) to locate symptomatic patients, provide medical assistance and alert communities of hotspots for the purpose of slowing down the spread of the Coronavirus.”

    Read more »

    2nd COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia

    By Dr. Lia Tadesse (Minister, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia)

    It is with great sadness that I announce the second death of a patient from #COVID19 in Ethiopia. The patient was admitted on April 2nd and was under strict medical follow up in the Intensive Care Unit. My sincere condolences to the family and loved ones.

    Read more »

    The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.


    People line up in their cars at the COVID-19 testing area at Roseland Community Hospital on April 3, 2020, in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

    By Chicago Tribune

    A new, different type of coronavirus test is coming that will help significantly in the fight to quell the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and scientists say. The first so-called serology test, which detects antibodies to the virus rather than the virus itself, was given emergency approval Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And several more are nearly ready, said Dr. Elizabeth McNally, director of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Center for Genetic Medicine.

    Read more »

    ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis

    By Tadias Staff

    Lately Ethiopian Airlines has been busy delivering much-needed medical supplies across Africa and emerging at the forefront of the continent’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic even as it has suspended most of its international passenger flights.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight

    By AFP

    Ethiopia’s government — like others in Africa — is confronting a stark ventilator shortage that could hobble its COVID-19 response. In a country of more than 100 million people, just 54 ventilators — out of around 450 total — had been set aside for COVID-19 patients as of this week, said Yakob Seman, director general of medical services at the health ministry.

    Read more »

    New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers


    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. (AP photo)

    By The Washington Post

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for a national enlistment of health-care workers organized by the U.S. military.

    Speaking on CNN’s New Day, he lamented that there has been no effort to mobilize doctors and nurses across the country and bring them to “the front” — first New York City and then other areas that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

    “If there’s not action by the president and the military literally in a matter of days to put in motion this vast mobilization,” de Blasio said, “then you’re going to see first hundreds and later thousands of Americans die who did not need to die.”

    He said he expects his city to be stretched for medical personnel starting Sunday, which he called “D-Day.” Many workers are out sick with the disease, he added, while others are “just stretched to the limit.”

    The mayor said he has told national leaders that they need to get on “wartime footing.”

    “The nation is in a peacetime stance while were actually in the middle of a war,” de Blasio said. “And if they don’t do something different in the next few days, they’re going to lose the window.”

    Read more »

    Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed

    By The Washington Post

    More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — a new record — as political and public health leaders put the economy in a deep freeze, keeping people at home and trying to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The past two weeks have seen more people file for unemployed claims than during the first six months of the Great Recession, a sign of how rapid, deep and painful the economic shutdown has been on many American families who are struggling to pay rent and health insurance costs in the midst of a pandemic. Job losses have skyrocketed as restaurants, hotel, gyms, and travel have shut down across the nation, but layoffs are also rising in manufacturing, warehousing and transportation, a sign of how widespread the pain of the coronavirus recession is. In March alone, 10.4 million Americans lost their jobs and applied for government aid, according to the latest Labor Department data, which includes claims filed through March 28. Many economists say the real number of people out work is likely even higher, since a lot of newly unemployed Americans haven’t been able to fill out a claim yet.

    Read more »

    U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II

    By The Washington Post

    The coronavirus outbreak sickening hundreds of thousands around the world and devastating the global economy is creating a challenge for the world not seen since World War II, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said late Tuesday. Speaking in a virtual news conference, Guterres said the world needs to show more solidarity and cooperation in fighting not only the medical aspects of the crisis but the economic fallout. The International Monetary Fund is predicting an economic recession worse than in 2008.

    Read more »

    US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,800 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.

    Read more »

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in the New York tri-state area has shared timely resources including COVID-19 safety information as well as national sources of financial support for families and small business owners.

    Read more »

    2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19

    By Tadias Staff

    The highly anticipated 2020 national election in Ethiopia has been canceled for now due to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that it has shelved its plans to hold the upcoming nationwide parliamentary polls on August 29th after an internal evaluation of the possible negative effect of the virus pandemic on its official activities.

    Read more »

    Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia on lockdown as coronavirus cases grow

    By The Washington Post

    Maryland, Virginia and the District issued “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, joining a growing list of states and cities mandating broad, enforceable restrictions on where residents can go in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    Read more »

    U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients

    By The Washington Post

    The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

    Read more »

    U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000

    By Bloomberg News

    A top U.S. infectious disease scientist said U.S. deaths could reach 200,000, but called it a moving target. New York’s fatalities neared 1,000, more than a third of the U.S. total.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: PM, WHO Director Discuss Coronavirus Response


    @fanatelevision/twitter

    By Tadias Staff

    Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed spoke with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, over the weekend regarding the Coronavirus response in Ethiopia and Africa in general.

    Read more »

    Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead

    By The Associated Press

    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths. While the U.S. now leads the world in reported infections — with more than 104,000 cases — five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

    Read more »

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    Read more »

    Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump

    By The Washington Post

    Masks that used to cost pennies now cost several dollars. Companies outside the traditional supply chain offer wildly varying levels of price and quality. Health authorities say they have few other choices to meet their needs in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ battle.

    Read more »

    Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus

    By VOA

    ADDIS ABABA – Health experts in Ethiopia are raising concern, as some religious leaders continue to host large gatherings despite government orders not to do so in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government ordered security forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopia has seen only 12 cases and no deaths from the virus, and authorities would like to keep it that way. But enforcing the orders has proven difficult as religious groups continue to meet and, according to religious leaders, fail to treat the risks seriously.

    Read more »

    U.S. deaths from coronavirus top 1,000

    By The Washington Post

    It began as a mysterious disease with frightening potential. Now, just two months after America’s first confirmed case, the country is grappling with a lethal reality: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate.

    Read more »

    A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy

    By The Washington Post

    A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

    Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

    “The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures. The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19


    Photo via amnesty.org

    As universities across Ethiopia close to avert spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to disclose measures they have taken to rescue 17 Amhara students from Dembi Dolo University in Western Oromia, who were abducted by unidentified people in November 2019 and have been missing since.

    The anguish of the students’ families is exacerbated by a phone and internet shutdown implemented in January across the western Oromia region further hampering their efforts to get information about their missing loved ones.

    “The sense of fear and uncertainty spreading across Ethiopia because of COVID-19 is exacerbating the anguish of these students’ families, who are desperate for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones four months after they were abducted,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa.

    “The Ethiopian authorities’ move to close universities in order to protect the lives of university students is commendable, but they must also take similarly concrete actions to locate and rescue the 17 missing students so that they too are reunited with their families.”

    Read more »

    UPDATE: New York City is now reporting 26,697 COVID-19 cases and 450 deaths.

    BY ABC7 NY

    Temporary hospital space in New York City will begin opening on Monday and more supplies are on the way as an already overwhelmed medical community anticipates even more coronavirus patients in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted 20 trucks were on the road delivering protective equipment to hospitals, including surgical masks, N95 masks, and hundreds more ventilators.

    Governor Cuomo added the temporary hospital in the Javits Center will open on Monday the same day that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York City.

    Read more »

    Related: New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard (REUTERS)

    L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    By Business Insider

    Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.

    “I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”

    In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.

    “I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.

    “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    By CNN

    Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has granted pardon to more than 4,000 prisoners in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    Sahle-Work Zewde announced the order in a tweet on Wednesday and said it would help prevent overcrowding in prisons.

    The directive only covers those given a maximum sentence of three years for minor crimes and those who were about to be released from jail, she said.

    There are 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ethiopia, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
    Authorities in the nation have put in place a raft of measures, including the closure of all borders except to those bringing in essential goods to contain the virus. The government has directed security officials to monitor and enforce a ban on large gatherings and overcrowded public transport to ensure social distancing.

    Read more »


    U.S. House passes $2 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill


    Watch: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York breaks down massive coronavirus aid package (MSNBC Video)

    By The Washington Post

    The House of Representatives voted Friday [March 27th] to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill that policy makers hope will blunt the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic, sending the legislation to President Trump for enactment. The legislation passed in dramatic fashion, approved on an overwhelming voice vote by lawmakers who’d been forced to return to Washington by a GOP colleague who had insisted on a quorum being present. Some lawmakers came from New York and other places where residents are supposed to be sheltering at home.

    Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Abiy seeks $150b for African virus response

    By AFP

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
    The pandemic “poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries,” Abiy’s office said in a statement, adding that Ethiopia was “working closely with other African countries” in preparing the aid request.

    The heavy debt burdens of many African countries leave them ill-equipped to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks, as the cost of servicing debt exceeds many countries’ health budgets, the statement said.

    Read more »

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)


    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough and the vast majority recover in 2-6 weeks but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health issues, the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    Read more »

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home


    A flier urging customers to remain home hangs at a turnstile as an MTA employee sanitizes surfaces at a subway station with bleach solutions due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe.

    Partisan divisions stalled efforts to pass a colossal aid package in Congress, and stocks fell again on Wall Street even after the Federal Reserve said it will lend to small and large businesses and local governments to help them through the crisis.

    Warning that the outbreak is accelerating, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action.

    “We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

    Read more »

    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)


    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    Read more »


    Related:

    We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale

    Dr. Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health. (@lia_tadesse/Twitter)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Liben Eabisa

    Updated: April 9th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — A network of technology professionals from the Ethiopian Diaspora — known as the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team – has been assisting the Ethiopian Ministry of Health since the nation’s first Coronavirus case was confirmed on March 13th. The COVID-19 Response Team has since grown into an army of more than a thousand volunteers. Mike Endale, a software developer based in Washington, D.C., is the main person behind the launch of this project.

    In a recent interview Mike told Tadias that the COVID-19 Response Team comprises of “software engineers, machine learning experts, doctors and engineers who are coming together to create capacity for the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia.”

    Mike describes their primary aim as assisting to gather, interpret and disseminate information in real time in a manner that’s helpful for public health officials as well as policy makers in order to make well-informed decisions that impacts the lives of millions of people.

    “Basically there are methods to this madness,” Mike said. “You have to collect as much data as you can and you build some sort of model and you start testing it.”

    To that end Mike noted that the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team is developing multiple technology tools to be used by the Ministry of Health although the group is not necessarily part of the government agency. Before their project was launched, Mike said, there was already a similar initiative underway within the Prime Minister’s office. “And we were quickly integrated into that team,” Mike told Tadias. “It’s been very collaborative so far.” He added: We are excited what this could mean and how it could be impactful.”

    Below is an audio of my interview with Mike Endale.

    Related:

    Ethiopia Coronavirus Cases Reach 91,693 (LATEST UPDATE)

    COVID-19 and Its Impact on African Economies: Q&A with Prof. Lemma Senbet

    Webinar on COVID-19 and Mental Health: Interview with Dr. Seble Frehywot

    COVID-19: Interview with Dr. Tsion Firew, Ethiopian Doctor on the Frontline in NYC

    Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak

    ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis

    Inspiring Amharic Poetry: A Reflection by Shimelis Amare (YouTube)

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Resources With Ethiopian Community

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    Art in the Time of Coronavirus: Guide to Virtual Exhibitions from Ethiopia to U.S.

    We Need Seismic Change, Right Now: by Marcus Samuelsson

    City Sleeps: A Look At The Empty NYC Streets Amid The Virus – In Pictures

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Coronavirus Sparks an Epidemic of People Helping People in Seattle

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    LATEST UPDATE: Coronavirus Pandemic

    (© Michael Tewelde/AFP/Getty)

    THE LATEST UPDATE:

    Updated: April 14th, 2020

  • U.N. says Saudi deportations of Ethiopian migrants risks spreading coronavirus
  • Ethiopia’s capital launches door-to-door Covid-19 screening
  • Worldwide deaths from the coronavirus hit 100,000
  • Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale
  • Ethiopia eyes replicating China’s successes in applying traditional medicine to contain COVID-19
  • WHO Director Slams ‘Racist’ Comments About COVID-19 Vaccine Testing
  • Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency, Recruits Health Workers to Fight Virus
  • Ethiopia virus cases hit 52, 9-month-old baby infected
  • The virus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate, a Post analysis shows
  • In China, Wuhan’s lockdown officially ends after 11 weeks
  • U.S. coronavirus deaths surpass 10,000
  • U.S. Government urged to release race, ethnicity data on covid-19 cases
  • Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak
  • 2nd COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia
  • The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.
  • New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers
  • ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis
  • Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight
  • Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise
  • Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed
  • U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II
  • US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC
  • Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community
  • 2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19
  • DC Metro Area Goes on Lockdown
  • U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients
  • U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000
  • The Curious Case of Ethiopian Traditional Medicine Covid-19 Treatment & Need for Caution
  • Ethiopia: PM Abiy spoke with Dr. Tedros regarding the Coronavirus response in Africa
  • COVID-19: Fire brigades disinfect Ethiopian capital
  • The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming
  • In Tunisia Factory Workers Making 50k Masks a Day While in Voluntary Lockdown
  • Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead
  • Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community
  • Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump
  • Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus
  • A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy
  • Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19
  • Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    U.N. says Saudi deportations of Ethiopian migrants risks spreading coronavirus

    By Reuters

    The United Nations said on Monday that deportations of illegal migrant workers by Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia risked spreading the coronavirus and it urged Riyadh to suspend the practice for the time being.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia’s capital launches door-to-door Covid-19 screening

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa is due to begin a door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening across the city, Addis Ababa city administration has announced. City deputy Mayor, Takele Uma, on Saturday told local journalists that the mass screening and testing programme will be started Monday (April 13) first in districts which are identified as potentially most vulnerable to the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus. The aggressive city-wide screening measure intends to identify Covid-19 infected patients and thereby to arrest a potential virus spread within communities. He said, the mass screening will eventually be carried out in all 117 districts, locally known as woredas, of the city, which is home to an estimated 7 million inhabitants. According to the Mayor, the door-to-door mass Covid-19 screening will be conducted by more than 1,200 retired health professionals, who responded to government’s call on the retired to join the national fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

    Read more »

    Worldwide deaths from the coronavirus hit 100,000

    By The Associated Press

    The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has hit 100,000, according to the running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. The sad milestone comes as Christians around the globe mark a Good Friday unlike any other — in front of computer screens instead of in church pews. Meanwhile, some countries are tiptoeing toward reopening segments of their battered economies. Public health officials are warning people against violating the social distancing rules over Easter and allowing the virus to flare up again. Authorities are using roadblocks and other means to discourage travel.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale

    By Liben Eabisa | TADIAS

    A network of technology professionals from the Ethiopian Diaspora — known as the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team – has been assisting the Ethiopian Ministry of Health since the nation’s first Coronavirus case was confirmed on March 13th. The COVID-19 Response Team has since grown into an army of more than a thousand volunteers. Mike Endale, a software developer based in Washington, D.C., is the main person behind the launch of this project. Read more »

    Ethiopia eyes replicating China’s successes in applying traditional medicine to contain COVID-19

    By CGTN Africa

    The Ethiopian government on Thursday expressed its keen interest to replicate China’s positive experience in terms of effectively applying traditional Chinese medicine to successfully contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the East African country.

    This came after high-level officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MoIT) as well as the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) held a video conference with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and researchers on ways of applying the TCM therapy towards controlling the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country, the MoIT disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday.

    “China, in particular, has agreed to provide to Ethiopia the two types of Chinese traditional medicines that the country applied to successfully treat the first two stages of the novel coronavirus,” a statement from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology read.

    Read more »

    WHO Director Slams ‘Racist’ Comments About COVID-19 Vaccine Testing


    The Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has angrily condemned recent comments made by scientists suggesting that a vaccine for COVID-19 should be tested in Africa as “racist” and a hangover from the “colonial mentality”. (Photo: WHO)

    By BBC

    The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has condemned as “racist” the comments by two French doctors who suggested a vaccine for the coronavirus could be tested in Africa.

    “Africa can’t and won’t be a testing ground for any vaccine,” said Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

    The doctors’ remarks during a TV debate sparked outrage, and they were accused of treating Africans like “human guinea pigs”.

    One of them later issued an apology.

    When asked about the doctors’ suggestion during the WHO’s coronavirus briefing, Dr Tedros became visibly angry, calling it a hangover from the “colonial mentality”.

    “It was a disgrace, appalling, to hear during the 21st Century, to hear from scientists, that kind of remark. We condemn this in the strongest terms possible, and we assure you that this will not happen,” he said.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia declares state of emergency to curb spread of COVID-19

    By Reuters

    Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the country to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus, his office said on Twitter. “Considering the gravity of the #COVID19, the government of Ethiopia has enacted a State of Emergency,” Abiy’s office said.

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

    By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE | AFP

    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

    Read more »

    The coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate

    By The Washington Post

    As the novel coronavirus sweeps across the United States, it appears to be infecting and killing black Americans at a disproportionately high rate, according to a Washington Post analysis of early data from jurisdictions across the country. The emerging stark racial disparity led the surgeon general Tuesday to acknowledge in personal terms the increased risk for African Americans amid growing demands that public-health officials release more data on the race of those who are sick, hospitalized and dying of a contagion that has killed more than 12,000 people in the United States. A Post analysis of what data is available and census demographics shows that counties that are majority-black have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are in the majority.

    Read more »

    In China, Wuhan’s lockdown officially ends after 11 weeks

    After 11 weeks — or 76 days — Wuhan’s lockdown is officially over. On Wednesday, Chinese authorities allowed residents to travel in and out of the besieged city where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in December. Many remnants of the months-long lockdown, however, remain. Wuhan’s 11 million residents will be able to leave only after receiving official authorization that they are healthy and haven’t recently been in contact with a coronavirus patient. To do so, the Chinese government is making use of its mandatory smartphone application that, along with other government surveillance, tracks the movement and health status of every person.

    Read more »

    U.S. hospitals facing ‘severe shortages’ of equipment and staff, watchdog says

    By The Washington Post

    As the official U.S. death toll approached 10,000, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams warned that this will be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”

    Read more »

    Ethio-American Tech Company PhantomALERT Offers Free App to Track & Map COVID-19 Outbreak

    By Tadias Staff

    PhantomALERT, a Washington D.C.-based technology company announced, that it’s offering a free application service to track, report and map COVID-19 outbreak hotspots in real time. In a recent letter to the DC government as well as the Ethiopian Embassy in the U.S. the Ethiopian-American owned business, which was launched in 2007, explained that over the past few days, they have redesigned their application to be “a dedicated coronavirus mapping, reporting and tracking application.” The letter to the Ethiopian Embassy, shared with Tadias, noted that PhantomALERT’s technology “will enable the Ethiopian government (and all other countries across the world) to locate symptomatic patients, provide medical assistance and alert communities of hotspots for the purpose of slowing down the spread of the Coronavirus.”

    Read more »

    2nd COVID-19 death confirmed in Ethiopia

    By Dr. Lia Tadesse (Minister, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia)

    It is with great sadness that I announce the second death of a patient from #COVID19 in Ethiopia. The patient was admitted on April 2nd and was under strict medical follow up in the Intensive Care Unit. My sincere condolences to the family and loved ones.

    Read more »

    The Next Coronavirus Test Will Tell You If You Are Now Immune. And It’s Fast.


    People line up in their cars at the COVID-19 testing area at Roseland Community Hospital on April 3, 2020, in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

    By Chicago Tribune

    A new, different type of coronavirus test is coming that will help significantly in the fight to quell the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and scientists say. The first so-called serology test, which detects antibodies to the virus rather than the virus itself, was given emergency approval Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And several more are nearly ready, said Dr. Elizabeth McNally, director of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Center for Genetic Medicine.

    Read more »

    ‘Your Safety is Our Priority’: How Ethiopian Airlines is Navigating the Global Virus Crisis

    By Tadias Staff

    Lately Ethiopian Airlines has been busy delivering much-needed medical supplies across Africa and emerging at the forefront of the continent’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic even as it has suspended most of its international passenger flights.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight

    By AFP

    Ethiopia’s government — like others in Africa — is confronting a stark ventilator shortage that could hobble its COVID-19 response. In a country of more than 100 million people, just 54 ventilators — out of around 450 total — had been set aside for COVID-19 patients as of this week, said Yakob Seman, director general of medical services at the health ministry.

    Read more »

    New York City mayor calls for national enlistment of health-care workers


    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. (AP photo)

    By The Washington Post

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for a national enlistment of health-care workers organized by the U.S. military.

    Speaking on CNN’s New Day, he lamented that there has been no effort to mobilize doctors and nurses across the country and bring them to “the front” — first New York City and then other areas that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

    “If there’s not action by the president and the military literally in a matter of days to put in motion this vast mobilization,” de Blasio said, “then you’re going to see first hundreds and later thousands of Americans die who did not need to die.”

    He said he expects his city to be stretched for medical personnel starting Sunday, which he called “D-Day.” Many workers are out sick with the disease, he added, while others are “just stretched to the limit.”

    The mayor said he has told national leaders that they need to get on “wartime footing.”

    “The nation is in a peacetime stance while were actually in the middle of a war,” de Blasio said. “And if they don’t do something different in the next few days, they’re going to lose the window.”

    Read more »

    Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed

    By The Washington Post

    More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — a new record — as political and public health leaders put the economy in a deep freeze, keeping people at home and trying to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The past two weeks have seen more people file for unemployed claims than during the first six months of the Great Recession, a sign of how rapid, deep and painful the economic shutdown has been on many American families who are struggling to pay rent and health insurance costs in the midst of a pandemic. Job losses have skyrocketed as restaurants, hotel, gyms, and travel have shut down across the nation, but layoffs are also rising in manufacturing, warehousing and transportation, a sign of how widespread the pain of the coronavirus recession is. In March alone, 10.4 million Americans lost their jobs and applied for government aid, according to the latest Labor Department data, which includes claims filed through March 28. Many economists say the real number of people out work is likely even higher, since a lot of newly unemployed Americans haven’t been able to fill out a claim yet.

    Read more »

    U.N. Chief Calls Pandemic Biggest Global Challenge Since World War II

    By The Washington Post

    The coronavirus outbreak sickening hundreds of thousands around the world and devastating the global economy is creating a challenge for the world not seen since World War II, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said late Tuesday. Speaking in a virtual news conference, Guterres said the world needs to show more solidarity and cooperation in fighting not only the medical aspects of the crisis but the economic fallout. The International Monetary Fund is predicting an economic recession worse than in 2008.

    Read more »

    US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC

    By The Associated Press

    The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,800 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.

    Read more »

    Getting Through COVID 19: ECMAA Shares Timely Resources With Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in the New York tri-state area has shared timely resources including COVID-19 safety information as well as national sources of financial support for families and small business owners.

    Read more »

    2020 Ethiopia Election Canceled Due to COVID-19

    By Tadias Staff

    The highly anticipated 2020 national election in Ethiopia has been canceled for now due to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that it has shelved its plans to hold the upcoming nationwide parliamentary polls on August 29th after an internal evaluation of the possible negative effect of the virus pandemic on its official activities.

    Read more »

    Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia on lockdown as coronavirus cases grow

    By The Washington Post

    Maryland, Virginia and the District issued “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, joining a growing list of states and cities mandating broad, enforceable restrictions on where residents can go in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    Read more »

    U.S. Approves Malaria Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients

    By The Washington Post

    The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

    Read more »

    U.S. Deaths Could Reach 200,000

    By Bloomberg News

    A top U.S. infectious disease scientist said U.S. deaths could reach 200,000, but called it a moving target. New York’s fatalities neared 1,000, more than a third of the U.S. total.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: PM, WHO Director Discuss Coronavirus Response


    @fanatelevision/twitter

    By Tadias Staff

    Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed spoke with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, over the weekend regarding the Coronavirus response in Ethiopia and Africa in general.

    Read more »

    Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead

    By The Associated Press

    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths. While the U.S. now leads the world in reported infections — with more than 104,000 cases — five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

    Read more »

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    Read more »

    Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump

    By The Washington Post

    Masks that used to cost pennies now cost several dollars. Companies outside the traditional supply chain offer wildly varying levels of price and quality. Health authorities say they have few other choices to meet their needs in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ battle.

    Read more »

    Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus

    By VOA

    ADDIS ABABA – Health experts in Ethiopia are raising concern, as some religious leaders continue to host large gatherings despite government orders not to do so in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government ordered security forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopia has seen only 12 cases and no deaths from the virus, and authorities would like to keep it that way. But enforcing the orders has proven difficult as religious groups continue to meet and, according to religious leaders, fail to treat the risks seriously.

    Read more »

    U.S. deaths from coronavirus top 1,000

    By The Washington Post

    It began as a mysterious disease with frightening potential. Now, just two months after America’s first confirmed case, the country is grappling with a lethal reality: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate.

    Read more »

    A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy

    By The Washington Post

    A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

    Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

    “The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures. The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19


    Photo via amnesty.org

    As universities across Ethiopia close to avert spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to disclose measures they have taken to rescue 17 Amhara students from Dembi Dolo University in Western Oromia, who were abducted by unidentified people in November 2019 and have been missing since.

    The anguish of the students’ families is exacerbated by a phone and internet shutdown implemented in January across the western Oromia region further hampering their efforts to get information about their missing loved ones.

    “The sense of fear and uncertainty spreading across Ethiopia because of COVID-19 is exacerbating the anguish of these students’ families, who are desperate for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones four months after they were abducted,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa.

    “The Ethiopian authorities’ move to close universities in order to protect the lives of university students is commendable, but they must also take similarly concrete actions to locate and rescue the 17 missing students so that they too are reunited with their families.”

    Read more »

    UPDATE: New York City is now reporting 26,697 COVID-19 cases and 450 deaths.

    BY ABC7 NY

    Temporary hospital space in New York City will begin opening on Monday and more supplies are on the way as an already overwhelmed medical community anticipates even more coronavirus patients in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted 20 trucks were on the road delivering protective equipment to hospitals, including surgical masks, N95 masks, and hundreds more ventilators.

    Governor Cuomo added the temporary hospital in the Javits Center will open on Monday the same day that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York City.

    Read more »

    Related: New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard (REUTERS)

    L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    By Business Insider

    Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.

    “I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”

    In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.

    “I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.

    “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    By CNN

    Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has granted pardon to more than 4,000 prisoners in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    Sahle-Work Zewde announced the order in a tweet on Wednesday and said it would help prevent overcrowding in prisons.

    The directive only covers those given a maximum sentence of three years for minor crimes and those who were about to be released from jail, she said.

    There are 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ethiopia, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
    Authorities in the nation have put in place a raft of measures, including the closure of all borders except to those bringing in essential goods to contain the virus. The government has directed security officials to monitor and enforce a ban on large gatherings and overcrowded public transport to ensure social distancing.

    Read more »


    U.S. House passes $2 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill


    Watch: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York breaks down massive coronavirus aid package (MSNBC Video)

    By The Washington Post

    The House of Representatives voted Friday [March 27th] to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill that policy makers hope will blunt the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic, sending the legislation to President Trump for enactment. The legislation passed in dramatic fashion, approved on an overwhelming voice vote by lawmakers who’d been forced to return to Washington by a GOP colleague who had insisted on a quorum being present. Some lawmakers came from New York and other places where residents are supposed to be sheltering at home.

    Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Abiy seeks $150b for African virus response

    By AFP

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
    The pandemic “poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries,” Abiy’s office said in a statement, adding that Ethiopia was “working closely with other African countries” in preparing the aid request.

    The heavy debt burdens of many African countries leave them ill-equipped to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks, as the cost of servicing debt exceeds many countries’ health budgets, the statement said.

    Read more »

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)


    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough and the vast majority recover in 2-6 weeks but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health issues, the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    Read more »

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home


    A flier urging customers to remain home hangs at a turnstile as an MTA employee sanitizes surfaces at a subway station with bleach solutions due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe.

    Partisan divisions stalled efforts to pass a colossal aid package in Congress, and stocks fell again on Wall Street even after the Federal Reserve said it will lend to small and large businesses and local governments to help them through the crisis.

    Warning that the outbreak is accelerating, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action.

    “We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

    Read more »

    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)


    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    Read more »


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  • Potential COVID19 Vaccine Shows Promise

    A team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the United States said they were able to move quickly in developing a potential COVID-19 vaccine. (Reuters)

    By Reuters

    April 2, 2020

    Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise in Mouse Study

    LONDON — Initial tests in mice of a potential COVID-19 vaccine delivered via a fingertip-sized patch have shown it can induce an immune response against the new coronavirus at levels that might prevent infection, U.S. scientists said on Thursday.

    Researchers around the world are working to develop potential treatments or vaccines against the respiratory disease that has killed nearly 47,000 people and infected almost a million in just a few months.

    A team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the United States said they were able to move quickly in developing a potential COVID-19 vaccine after working on other coronaviruses that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

    “These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2 (the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic), teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus,” said Andrea Gambotto, an associate professor at Pittsburgh.

    “We knew exactly where to fight this new virus.”

    When tested in mice, the prototype vaccine – which the researchers have called PittCoVacc – generated what they described as “a surge of antibodies” against the new coronavirus within two weeks.

    The Pittsburgh researchers cautioned that because the animals have not been tracked for very long as yet, it is too early to say whether and for how long the immune response against COVID-19 lasts.

    But they said that in comparable tests in mice with their MERS experimental vaccine, a sufficient level of antibodies was produced to neutralize the virus for at least a year.

    So far, the antibody levels of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccinated animals seem to be following the same trend, they said in peer-reviewed study in the journal EBioMedicine.

    The team said they hope to start testing the vaccine candidate on people in clinical trials in the next few months.

    The potential vaccine uses a needle patch design, called a microneedle array, to increase its potential potency.

    This array is a fingertip-sized patch of 400 tiny needles made out of sugar and the spike protein, Gambotto explained. It is designed to deliver the spike protein pieces into the skin, where the immune reaction is strongest.


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    US Approves Malaria Drug for Coronavirus

    A pack of hydroxychloroquine sulfate medication. (Getty Images)

    The Washington Post

    FDA authorizes widespread use of unproven drugs to treat coronavirus, saying possible benefit outweighs risk

    Millions of doses of the anti-malarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine will be distributed to hospitals across the country to try to slow the disease in seriously ill patients.

    The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients.

    There have only been a few, very small anecdotal studies that show a possible benefit of the drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, to relieve the acute respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 and clear the virus from infected patients.

    And health experts warn the drugs’ well-known side effects could become more commonplace with much wider use. In particular, they say, patients with existing heart problems or taking certain drugs, such as anti-depressants that affect heart rhythm, are at risk of a fatal episode. Experts recommend screening before the drugs are prescribed to prevent drug-related deaths.

    “The concern really is if we’re talking millions of patients, then this issue of drug-induced sudden cardiac death is absolutely going to rear its ugly head,’’ said Michael Ackerman, a pediatric cardiologist and professor at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, who last week co-authored a key paper about the risks in response to the surge in drugs’ use.

    Long-term use of the drugs also is associated with a chance of developing a form of vision loss called retinopathy, but the use of the drugs to fight virus in an infected patient is only for a few days.

    The FDA’s emergency authorization does not cover longer-term use of the drugs to prevent the coronavirus infection, a practice that has become more commonplace as doctors have prescribed the drugs “off label” in response to the pandemic.

    Read more »


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    The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming

    Epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, who warned of pandemic in 2006, says we can beat the novel coronavirus—but first, we need lots more testing. (GETTY IMAGES)

    WIRED

    LARRY BRILLIANT SAYS he doesn’t have a crystal ball. But 14 years ago, Brilliant, the epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox, spoke to a TED audience and described what the next pandemic would look like. At the time, it sounded almost too horrible to take seriously. “A billion people would get sick,” he said. “As many as 165 million people would die. There would be a global recession and depression, and the cost to our economy of $1 to $3 trillion would be far worse for everyone than merely 100 million people dying, because so many more people would lose their jobs and their health care benefits, that the consequences are almost unthinkable.”

    Now the unthinkable is here, and Brilliant, the Chairman of the board of Ending Pandemics, is sharing expertise with those on the front lines. We are a long way from 100 million deaths due to the novel coronavirus, but it has turned our world upside down. Brilliant is trying not to say “I told you so” too often. But he did tell us so, not only in talks and writings, but as the senior technical advisor for the pandemic horror film Contagion, now a top streaming selection for the homebound. Besides working with the World Health Organization in the effort to end smallpox, Brilliant, who is now 75, has fought flu, polio, and blindness; once led Google’s nonprofit wing, Google.org; co-founded the conferencing system the Well; and has traveled with the Grateful Dead.

    We talked by phone on Tuesday. At the time, President Donald Trump’s response to the crisis had started to change from “no worries at all” to finally taking more significant steps to stem the pandemic. Brilliant lives in one of the six Bay Area counties where residents were ordered to shelter in place. When we began the conversation, he’d just gotten off the phone with someone he described as high government official, who asked Brilliant “How the fuck did we get here?” I wanted to hear how we’ll get out of here. The conversation has been edited and condensed.

    Read the Q&A at wired.com »

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    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    The Maryland Department of Health has published coronavirus directive in Amharic for its Ethiopian residents. (Photo: WMDT)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Published: March 27th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    You can read the directive below or view the PDF here.

    Maryland Department of Health:

    ኮሮና ቫይረስ በሽታ 2019 (COVID-19)
    በተደጋጋሚ የሚጠየቁ ጥያቄዎች
    መጨረሻ አርትኦት የተደረገው ማርች 6 2020

    ሀገረ ገዢው ላሪ ሆጋን በሰጡት በመመሪያ መሰረት ወኪሎች ሁሉን አቀፍ እና የተቀናጀ የመከላከል እና ምላሽ የመስጠት እቅዳቸውን ለ ኮሮና ቫየረስ 2019 (COVID-19) መስጠታቸውን ቀጥለዋል።

    የሜሪላንድ ጤና ዲፓርትመንት (MDH) ከህዝቡ ጋር ግንኙነት ማድረግ የሚቀጥል ሲሆን ይህ ሁኔታ ያለበት ደረጃ በማሳወቅ እና ትክክለኛ የሆኑ መረጃዎችን በመስጠት ሲሆን ይህም ራስዎን እና ቤተሰብዎን እንዴት መጠበቅ እንደሚችሉ እንዲያውቁ የሚያደርገ ነው።

    COVID-19 ምንድን ነው?

    COVID-19 የመተንፈሻ አካላትን በሚያጠቃ ቫይረስ የሚከሰት ሲሆን መጀመሪያ ላይ የተከሰተው ዉሀን፣ ሁቤ ወረዳ ቻይና ውስጥ በዲሴምበር 2019 ነው። COVID-19 አዲስ እና በሰዎች ላይ ህመም ፈጥሮ የማያውቅ በሽታ ነው። በመላው አለም COVID-19 በሺዎች የሚቆጠር በሰዎች ላይ ኢንፌክሽን እና ህመም እንዲፈጠር እና በአንዳንድ ሁኔታዎች ደግሞ ሞት እንዲፈጠር ምክንያት ሆኗል። በሽታው በመላው አለም የተዛመተ ሲሆን በየቀኑ አዳዲስ የመበከል ሪፖርቶች ይወጣሉ።

    COVID-19 አሜርካ ውስጥ ተፈጥሯል?

    COVID-19 አሜርካ ውስጥ የተሰራጨ ሲሆን አንዳንድ ሰዎች እንዲታመሙ አድርጓል፣ በአንዳንድ ከባድ ሁኔታዎች ውስጥ ደግሞ ሞት እንዲፈጠር አድርጓል።

    አብዛኛዎቹ የተረጋገጡ ህመሞች ብዙ የ COVID-19 ታማሚዎች ወዳሉበት ሀገር በአለም አቀፍ ደረጃ ጉዞ ካደረጉ ሰዎች ሲሆን፣ አሜርካ ውስጥ አንዳንድ የስርጭት ሪፖርቶች ተደርገዋል። “የማህበረሰብ ስርጭት” ማለት በአንድ አካባቢ ላይ ሰዎች በቫይረሱ ተይዘዋል ማለት ሲሆን፣ ይህም እንዴት ወይም ከየት እንደተያዙ የማያውቁ ሰዎችንም የሚያካትት ነው።

    በህዝቡ ላይ ያለው ስጋት ምንድን ነው?

    በአንድ ነጥብ ላይ COVID-19 በከባድ ሁኔታ አሜርካ ውስጥ ሊሰራጭ የሚችልበት እድል አለ። ባለሞያዎች በሚመጡት ሳምንታት እና ወራት ውስጥ አሜርካ ውስጥ እና በመላው አለም ተጨማሪ የኮሮኖ ቫይረስ ክስተቶችን መጠበቅ እንዳለብን አሳውቀዋል።

    ጉንፋን እን ኢንፍሉዌንዛ የሚተላለፉት በማህበረሰብ ስርጭት ሲሆን – ይህም ማለት ሰዎች እለታዊ ሕይወታቸውን በሚመሩበት ወቅት ከአንድ ሰው ወደሌላው ይተላለፋል ማለት ነው ሪፖርት የተደረገ የ COVID19 ማህበረሰባዊ ስርጭት ተጽኖ ስር ያሉ ማህበረሰቦችን ወዲያው ሊደርስባቸው የሚችለውን ስጋት ከፍ ያደርገዋል።

    አሁን ሜሪላንድ ውስጥ በዚህ አዲስ ቫይረስ የተያዘ ሰው አለ?

    በማርች 5 2020 ላይ ሜሪላንድ ወስጥ ሶሰት የተረጋገጡ የ COVID-19 ክስተቶች እንደነበሩ ሪፖርት ተደርጓል። ታካሚዎቹ በቫይረሱ የተጠቁት ከሀገር ውጨ ባደረጉት ጉዞ ወቅት ሲሆን፣ አሁን በመልካም ሁኔታ ላይ እና አሁን ለይቶ በማያቆያ ውስጥ በየቤቶቻቸው ይገኛሉ።

    ማርች 5 ላይ ሀገረ ገዢው ሆጋን የአስቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጅ ተጨማሪ በክልሉ ውስጥ ያሉ ግብአቶችን ለመሰባሰብ አውጀዋል። The declaration officially authorized and directed the አዋጁ ለ MDH እና ለሜሪላንድ ድንገተኛ ጊዜ አስተዳደር ወኪል (MEMA) በሁሉም የክልል እና አካባቢ ወኪሎች መካከል ያለውን ትብብር እንዲያሳልጥ ስልጣን እና ትዛዝ የሰጠ ነው። በተጨማሪም አዋጁ MDH እና MEMA በክልላችን እና በአካባቢያዊ ጤና ክፍሎች እንዲሁም ድንገተኛ አስተዳደር ክፍሎች ውስጥ ያለውን ትብብር ያሳልጥ ዘንድ ያስችለዋል።

    ትክክለኛ መረጃዎች ስለ ምርመራ እና የክስተት ቁጥሮች በ health.maryland.gov/coronavirus ላይ ይገኛል። ገጹ በየቀኑ አዳዲስ መረጃዎችን ያወጣል።

    በዚህ ሰአት ስጋት ላይ ያለው ማን ነው?

    በአሁን ሰአት የሚከተሉት ሰዎች ስጋት ውስጥ ናቸው፡
    • ስጋት ወዳለባቸው ቦታዎች ጉዞ ያደረጉ
    • COVID-19 ካለበት ሰው ጋር የቅርብ የሆነ የግል ግንኙነት ያላቸው
    • COVID-19 ያለባቸውን ሰዎች የሚንከባከቡ

    COVID-19 የሚሰራጨው እንዴት ነው?

    COVID-19 ልክ እንደጉንፋን ወይም ኢንፍሉዌንዛ በሚከተሉት መንገዶች ሊሰራጭ እንደሚችል ይታሰባል፡

    • ማሳል እና ማስነጠስ፣ ይህም የትንፋሽ ጥቃቅን ነጠብጣቦችን ይፈጥራል
    • የቅርብ የሆነ አካላዊ ግንኙነት ይህም እንደመንካት እና እጅ መጨባበጥ
    • ቫይረሱ ያለበትን ቁስ ወይም እቃ መንካት

    የ COVID-19 ምልክቶች ምንድን ናቸው?

    • ትኩሳት
    • ማሳል
    • የትንፋሽ ማጠር
    • በጣም ከባድ በሆኑ ሁኔታዎች ውስጥ፣ ኒውሞኒያ (የሳምባ ምች)

    COVID-19 አለብኝ ብዬ የማስብ እንደሆነ ምን ማድረግ አለብኝ?

    የ COVID-19 ሰጋት ወዳለበት ማንኛውም አካባቢ ጉዞ አድርገው የሆነ እንደሆነ ወይም COVID-19 ካለበት ሰው ጋር ግንኙነት አድርገው የነበር እንደሆነ በተጨማሪም ትኩሳት ሳል ወይም የመተንፈስ ሁኔታ አዳጋች ከሆነብዎ፣ ወዲያውኑ የጤና ምርመራ ያድርጉ። የሚከተሉትን እርምጃዎች ይውሰዱ፡

    • ከመሄድዎ በፊት ለሀኪምዎ ወይም የድንገተኛ አገልግሎት ሰጪዎ ይደውሉ
    • በቅርብ ስላደረጉት ጉዞ እና የቅርብ ንክኪዎትን (ይህም ቤት ውስጥ ያሉትን ሰዎች ጨምሮ ማለት ነው) ምን እንደነበሩ ያሳውቁ
    • ማግኘት የሚችሉ እንደሆነ ጭምብል ያድርጉ

    አንድ ሰው COVID-19 ከያዘው ምን ይፈጠራል?

    አብዛኛዎቹ ሰዎች ከዚህ ኢንፌክሽን ይፈወሳሉ። አብዛኛዎቹ ሰዎች ዝቅተኛ ወይም ከበድ ያለ ምልክት ያሳያሉ። አንዳንድ ሰዎች ራሳቸውን ቤት ውስጥ ለይተው እንዲያገግሙ ሊመከሩ ይችላሉ። እነዚህ ሰዎች ምልክቶቻቸው እየተባባሱ ከመጡ ለሀኪሞቻቸው ወይም የጤና አገልግሎት ሰጪዎቻቸው መደወል አለባቸው።

    አንዳንድ የ COVID-19 ኢንፌክሽኖች ከባድ ህመም ወይም በአንዳንድ ሁኔታዎች ውስጥ ደግሞ ሞትን ያስክትላሉ። አንድ ሰው ከባድ የሆነ ህመም በ COVID-19 ምክንያት ካጋጠመው ሆስፒታል ውስጥ እንዲተኛ ይደረጋል። አረጋውያንን እና ቀድሞ ሌላ የጤና ችግር የነበረባቸው ሰዎች ከባድ ህመም ለመታመም ይበልጥ ተጋላጭ ናቸው። ቀድመው የነበሩ የጤና ስጋት ምሳሌዎች የሚከተሉት ናቸው፡ ካንሰር፣ ስኳር፣ የልብ በሽታ ወይም ሌሎች በሽታ የመከላከል እና ጀርሞችን የመዋጋት አቅምን የሚጎዱ በሽታዎች።

    ወደ ውጨ ሀገር የመሄድ እቅዴን ማቆም አለብኝ?

    የበሽታ ቁጥጥር እና መከላከል ማእከል (CDC) የጉዞ አማካሪዎችን ማስጠንቀቂያዎች እያደሰ ነው። CDC የግድ አስፈላጊ ያልሆኑ ጉዞዎችን ወደ አንዳንድ ቦታዎች ከማድግ እንዲቆጡ ይመክራል። የጤና ሁኔታዎች አስተማማኝ ያልሆነ ሰዎች የግዴታ ያልሆኑ ጉዞዎችን ወደ አንዳንድ ቦታዎች ከማድረግ እንዲቆጠቡ ይመከራል።

    የ CDC ን የጉዞ ማማከር ድረገጽ በመጎብኘት ወደውጪ ሀገር የጉዞ እቅድ እያደረጉ ከሆነ ማስጠንቀቂያዎችን ማየት ይችላሉ፡ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

    ከቤት ወጥቼ ማህበረሰቡን የምቀላቀል ከሆነ ከሆነ የፊት ጭምብል ማድረግ አለብኝ?

    የለብዎትም። ከቤት የሚወጡ ከሆነ የፊት ጭምብሎች አይመከሩም ነገር ግን በአንዳንደ መቼቶች ውስጥ የፊት ጭምብሎች ይጠቅማሉ – ይህም እንደ ሆስፒታል ወይም የክሊኒክ መቆያ ክፍል – ሲሆን የመተንፈሻ አካላት በሽታ ከአንድ ሰው ወደሌላኛው አንዳይተላለፍ ማለት ነው።

    COVID-19ን ጨምሮ ከመተንፈሻ አካላት በሽታ ሰዎች ራሳቸውን መከላከል ይችሉ ዘንድ የፊት ጭምብል እንዲያደርጉ CDC አይመክርም። የፊት ጭምብል ማድረግ ያለብዎ የጤና ባለሞያ የሚመክርዎ ከሆነ ብቻ ነው። COVID-19 ያለባቸው እና ምልክቱ ያለባቸው ሰዎች የፊት ጭምብል መጠቀም አለባቸው። ይህም ሌሎች ሰዎች አንዲያዙ የሚያደርጋቸውን እድል ለመቀነስ ነው። COVID-19 ያለበትን ሰው በቅርብ ሆነው የሚንከባከቡ ሰዎችም የፊት ጭምብል በቅርብ ርቅት ውስጥ ከሆኑ ማድረግ አለባቸው (ይህም በቤት ወይም በጤና እንክብካቤ ማእከል ወስጥ ሊሆን ይችላል)።

    ራሴን እና ሌሎችን ለመጠበቅ ምን ማድረግ እችላለሁ?

    እንደ ኢንፍሉዌንዛ እና ጉንፋን አይነት በሽታዎችን ስርጭት ለመከላከል ያስችል ዘንድ በየእለቱ መደረግ ያለባቸውን የመከላከል እርምጃዎችን ይውሰዱ፡

    • በሳሙና እና ትኩስ ውሀ ቢያንስ ለ 2 ሰከንዶች እጅዎትን ይታጠቡ
    • ቢያንስ 60 በመቶ አልኮል ያለባቸውን የእጅ ጽዳት ምርቶች ሳሙና እና ውሀ የሌለ ከሆነ ይጠቀሙ
    • ሳል እና ማስነጠስዎን በእጅዎ በሶፍት ወረቀት ወይም በእጅዎ ክርን ይከልሉ
    • አይንዎን አፍንጫዎን እና አፍዎን አይንኩ
    • ብዙ ጊዜ በእጅ የሚነኩ እቃዎችን ያጽዱ ወይም መስፈርት የሆኑ የጽዳት ደረጃዎችን በመጠቀም ኢንፌክሽን ያስወግዱ
    • ከታመሙ ሰዎች ጋር የቅርብ የሆነን ግንኙነት ያስወግዱ
    • ከታመሙ እቤት ይቆዩ፣ ይህም የጤና አገልግሎት ለመፈለግ ከመውጣት ውጪ ማለት ነው

    ለ COVID-19 ማግኘት የምችለው ክትባት ወይም መድሀኒት አለ?

    የለም ምክንያቱም COVID-19 አዲስ በሽታ ስለሆነ ነው። ነገር ግን፣ ብዙ ባለሞያዎች ለመፈብረክ እየሰሩ ነው። እንደማንኛውም ክትባት ደህንነቱ አስተማማኝ እና ውጤታማ መሆኑን ለመፈተሽ መሞከር አለበት። የ COVID19 ክትባት ዝግጁ እስከሚሆን ድረስ ከአንድ አመት በላይ ሊፈጅ ይችላል።

    COVID-19ን የሚፈውስ ምንም አይነት መድሀኒት በዚህ ሰአት የለም። ነገር ግን COVID-19 ያለባቸው ሰዎች የምልክታቸውን ከባድነት ለማስቀነስ የጤና እንክብካቤ ያስፈልጋቸዋል።

    ለ COVID-19 እንዴት ዝግጁ ልሆን እችላለሁ?

    • በቂ የሆኑ በትዛዝ የማይገዙ መድኒቶችን እና ሌሎች የጤና ግብአቶችን ይህም እንደ ህመም ማስወገጃ፣ የሆድ፣ ሳል እና ጉንፋን መድሀኒቶችን በበቂ መጠን በእጅዎ ላይ አድርገው ያቆዩ
    • የተለመዱ በትዛዝ የሚሰቱ መድሀኒቶችን በቂ የሆነ መድሀኒት በእጅዎ ላይ እንዳለ ለማረጋገጥ እርምጃዎችን ይውሰዱ፤ አስፈላጊ የሆነ እንደሆነ እንደገማ መድሀኒቶችዎን ይሙሉ
    • የሙቀት መለኪያ፣ ሶፍት እና የእጅ ማጽጃ ከታመሙ እና ቤት ሆነት ማገገም ሊያሰፈልግዎ የሚለች ከሆነ ይያዙ
    • ከሚወዷቸው እና ከቤተሰብ አባላት ጋር እነዚህ ሰዎች ቢታመሙ ምን አይነት እንክብካቤ ሊያገኙ እንደሚችሉ እና ቤት ውስጥ እነርሱን ለመንከባከብ ምን ሊያስፈልግ እንደሚችል ይነጋገሩ
    • ቤት ውስጥ ለሁለት ሳምንት የሚበቃ ውሀ እና ምግብ መቀመጡን ያረጋግጡ

    ሌላ ላውቅ የሚያስፈልግ ነገር አለ?

    • ማንኛውንም ሰው ከዘር እና የዘር የጀርባ ታሪክ ጋር ግንኙነት ባለው መልኩ አያግሉ። ቫይረሶች ሰዎችን በዘር፣ የህዝብ መገኛ እና የዘር የጀርባ ታሪክ መርጠው አያጠቁም።
    • ሁልጊዜም መረጃ ይኑርዎ እንዲሁም ከአስተማማኝ ምንጭ መረጃዎችን መጠቀም ይቀጥሉ። ትክክለኛ ያልሆኑ መረጃዎችን ኦንላይን እና ከሌላም ቦታ ቢሆን ይጠንቀቁ። በማህበራዊ ሚዲያዎችን የሚጋሩ የጤና መረጃዎች አብዛኛውን ጊዜ ትክክል ያልሆኑ ሲሆን፣ ይህም ከባለስልጣን፣ አስተማማኝ እንደ CDC፣ MDH ወይም አካባቢያዎ ዲፓርትመንት የሚመጣ ካልሆነ ነው።

    ለሌሎች ቡድኖች ማለትም ለንግዶች የሚሆኑ ሌሎች ግብአቶች አሉ?

    CDC ስለ COVID-19 ትክክለኛ የሆኑ መረጃዎችን በ cdc.gov ላይ ያቀርባል

    ንግዶች

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

    እርጉዝ ሴቶች፣ የሚያጠቡ እና ልጆች

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnant-women.html

    ትምህርት ቤቶች

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-forschools.html

    ተጓዦች

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html

    ሳምንታዊ እደሳዎች

    ሳምንታዊ ኢሜይሎችን ስለ COVID-19 ለመግኘት ኢሜይልዎን ያሰገቡ እና “COVID-19” ብለው በ መተየቢያው ሳጥን ውስጥ ይጻፉ

    https://tools.cdc.gov/campaignproxyservice/subscriptions.aspx?topic_id=USCDC_2067

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    LATEST UPDATE: Coronavirus Pandemic

    Ethiopian fire brigades on Sunday cleaned and disinfected public spaces in the country's capital, Addis Ababa to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo: AA)

    The Latest:

    Updated: March 29th, 2020

  • As U.S. coronavirus death toll surpasses 2,000, CDC issues travel advisory for New York tri-state region
  • COVID-19: Fire brigades disinfect Ethiopian capital
  • In Tunisia Factory Workers Making 50k Masks a Day While in Voluntary Lockdown
  • The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming
  • Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead
  • Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community
  • Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump
  • Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus
  • A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy
  • Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19
  • Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread
  • New York City reports 26,697 COVID-19 cases, 450 deaths
  • In California, L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    As U.S. coronavirus death toll surpasses 2,000, CDC issues travel advisory for hard-hit New York tri-state region

    By The Washington Post

    The United States reached a grim milestone Saturday, doubling the number of coronavirus-related deaths over two days to more than 2,000. New York remained the hardest hit, a devastating toll compounded Saturday by President Trump’s day-long dance over whether he would order a federal quarantine of the New York City metro region — a proposal he ultimately retracted… New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) called the idea “preposterous” and equated it to imprisonment and “a declaration of war.”…instead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would issue a “strong travel advisory” for the New York tri-state area. The CDC advisory urged residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to “refrain from nonessential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately,” though the three states issued stay-home orders to the same effect March 20.

    Read more »

    Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead

    By The Associated Press

    The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths. While the U.S. now leads the world in reported infections — with more than 104,000 cases — five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

    Read more »

    Maryland Issues COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for Ethiopian Community

    By Tadias Staff

    The state of Maryland Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 Fact Sheet in Amharic for its large Ethiopian community.

    Read more »

    Gouged prices, middlemen and medical supply chaos: Why governors are so upset with Trump

    By The Washington Post

    Masks that used to cost pennies now cost several dollars. Companies outside the traditional supply chain offer wildly varying levels of price and quality. Health authorities say they have few other choices to meet their needs in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ battle.

    Read more »

    Worshippers in Ethiopia Defy Ban on Large Gatherings Despite Coronavirus

    By VOA

    ADDIS ABABA – Health experts in Ethiopia are raising concern, as some religious leaders continue to host large gatherings despite government orders not to do so in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government ordered security forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopia has seen only 12 cases and no deaths from the virus, and authorities would like to keep it that way. But enforcing the orders has proven difficult as religious groups continue to meet and, according to religious leaders, fail to treat the risks seriously.

    Read more »

    U.S. deaths from coronavirus top 1,000

    By The Washington Post

    It began as a mysterious disease with frightening potential. Now, just two months after America’s first confirmed case, the country is grappling with a lethal reality: The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate.

    Read more »

    A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy

    By The Washington Post

    A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.

    Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.

    “The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures. The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia: Parents fear for missing students as universities close over Covid-19


    Photo via amnesty.org

    As universities across Ethiopia close to avert spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amnesty International is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to disclose measures they have taken to rescue 17 Amhara students from Dembi Dolo University in Western Oromia, who were abducted by unidentified people in November 2019 and have been missing since.

    The anguish of the students’ families is exacerbated by a phone and internet shutdown implemented in January across the western Oromia region further hampering their efforts to get information about their missing loved ones.

    “The sense of fear and uncertainty spreading across Ethiopia because of COVID-19 is exacerbating the anguish of these students’ families, who are desperate for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones four months after they were abducted,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa.

    “The Ethiopian authorities’ move to close universities in order to protect the lives of university students is commendable, but they must also take similarly concrete actions to locate and rescue the 17 missing students so that they too are reunited with their families.”

    Read more »

    UPDATE: New York City is now reporting 26,697 COVID-19 cases and 450 deaths.

    BY ABC7 NY

    Temporary hospital space in New York City will begin opening on Monday and more supplies are on the way as an already overwhelmed medical community anticipates even more coronavirus patients in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted 20 trucks were on the road delivering protective equipment to hospitals, including surgical masks, N95 masks, and hundreds more ventilators.

    Governor Cuomo added the temporary hospital in the Javits Center will open on Monday the same day that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York City.

    Read more »

    Related: New York sees some signs of progress against coronavirus as New Orleans hit hard (REUTERS)

    L.A. mayor says residents may have to shelter at home for two months or more

    By Business Insider

    Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.

    “I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”

    In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.

    “I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.

    “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.

    Read more »

    Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

    By CNN

    Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has granted pardon to more than 4,000 prisoners in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    Sahle-Work Zewde announced the order in a tweet on Wednesday and said it would help prevent overcrowding in prisons.

    The directive only covers those given a maximum sentence of three years for minor crimes and those who were about to be released from jail, she said.

    There are 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ethiopia, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
    Authorities in the nation have put in place a raft of measures, including the closure of all borders except to those bringing in essential goods to contain the virus. The government has directed security officials to monitor and enforce a ban on large gatherings and overcrowded public transport to ensure social distancing.

    Read more »


    U.S. House passes $2 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill


    Watch: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York breaks down massive coronavirus aid package (MSNBC Video)

    By The Washington Post

    The House of Representatives voted Friday [March 27th] to approve a massive $2 trillion stimulus bill that policy makers hope will blunt the economic destruction of the coronavirus pandemic, sending the legislation to President Trump for enactment. The legislation passed in dramatic fashion, approved on an overwhelming voice vote by lawmakers who’d been forced to return to Washington by a GOP colleague who had insisted on a quorum being present. Some lawmakers came from New York and other places where residents are supposed to be sheltering at home.

    Read more »

    In Ethiopia, Abiy seeks $150b for African virus response

    By AFP

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
    The pandemic “poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries,” Abiy’s office said in a statement, adding that Ethiopia was “working closely with other African countries” in preparing the aid request.

    The heavy debt burdens of many African countries leave them ill-equipped to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks, as the cost of servicing debt exceeds many countries’ health budgets, the statement said.

    Read more »

    Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)


    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough and the vast majority recover in 2-6 weeks but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health issues, the virus that causes COVID-19 can result in more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    Read more »

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home


    A flier urging customers to remain home hangs at a turnstile as an MTA employee sanitizes surfaces at a subway station with bleach solutions due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe.

    Partisan divisions stalled efforts to pass a colossal aid package in Congress, and stocks fell again on Wall Street even after the Federal Reserve said it will lend to small and large businesses and local governments to help them through the crisis.

    Warning that the outbreak is accelerating, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action.

    “We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

    Read more »

    China’s Coronavirus Donation to Africa Arrives in Ethiopia (Reuters)


    An Ethiopian Airlines worker transports a consignment of medical donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation to Africa for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

    The first batch of protective and medical equipment donated by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma was flown into the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, as coronavirus cases in Africa rose above 1,100.

    The virus has spread more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe but has a foothold in 41 African nations and two territories. So far it has claimed 37 lives across the continent of 1.3 billion people.

    The shipment is a much-needed boost to African healthcare systems that were already stretched before the coronavirus crisis, but nations will still need to ration supplies at a time of global scarcity.

    Only patients showing symptoms will be tested, the regional Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.

    “The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields,” Ma’s foundation said in a statement.

    “The faster we move, the earlier we can help.”

    The shipment had a sign attached with the slogan, “when people are determined they can overcome anything”.

    Read more »


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    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Worried Ethiopians Want Partial Internet Shutdown Ended (AP)

    Ethiopians have their temperature checked for symptoms of the new coronavirus, at the Zewditu Memorial Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (Photo: Mulugeta Ayene, AP)

    By Elias Meseret | AP

    March 24, 2020

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Rights groups and citizens are calling on Ethiopia’s government to lift the internet shutdown in parts of the country that is leaving millions of people without important updates on the coronavirus.

    The months-long shutdown of internet and phone lines in Western Oromia and parts of the Benishangul Gumuz region is occurring during military operations against rebel forces.

    “Residents of these areas are getting very limited information about the coronavirus,” Jawar Mohammed, an activist-turned-politician, told The Associated Press.

    Ethiopia reported its first coronavirus case on March 13 and now has a dozen. Officials have been releasing updates mostly online. Land borders have closed and national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has stopped flying to some 30 destinations around the world.

    A ruling party official in the Oromia region, Taye Dendea, on Sunday posted on Facebook saying that “tourists and other foreigners are not travelling to these areas because of the security problem that exists there, so there’s little chance that the virus will get there.”

    Human Rights Watch has said millions of Ethiopians are not getting access to timely and accurate information.

    “It is laudable that (Ethiopia’s prime minister) Abiy is taking charge of managing a coronavirus prevention effort on the African continent, but he should not ignore the needs of those within his own country.”

    Yohannes Tessema, a political figure from the Benishangul Gumuz region, said both internet and phones lines are cut in some locations and that it’s difficult to disseminate information about the pandemic to residents.

    “We have never experienced such lengthy cuts in the past. People in these areas are not getting badly needed updates, and that is dangerous,” he said.


    Related:

    In Global Fight vs. Virus, Over 1.5 Billion Told: Stay Home

    Ethiopia enforces 14-day quarantine for all travelers

    Diaspora-based Tech Professionals Launch Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Task Force

    Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia Confirms More COVID19 Cases

    Dr. Lia Tadesse, Ethiopia's Minister of Health. (Photo via Facebook/Public Health Officers Association of Ethiopia)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: March 20th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — Among the latest COVID-19 infected individuals in Ethiopia are a 39-year-old Austrian who arrived in Addis Ababa on March 15th, a 44-year-old Japanese national, and an 85-year-old Ethiopian who returned from abroad on March 2nd, raising the country’s total confirmed cases to 9.

    According to a statement by Ethiopian Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse, the 85-year-old patient “has a severe form of illness and under close medical care” while the rest are reported to be in stable condition.

    The Ministry of Health also urged travelers from affected countries to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

    Responding to reported incidents of xenophobia fueled by Coronavirus fears, Dr. Lia said: “#COVID19 is not related to any country or nationality. It is a test against all humanity. We should fight it together and defeat it. I call upon all my fellow Ethiopians to join hands with the world to fight this global challenge.”


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    Pleas to Diaspora to Assist Coronavirus First Responders in Ethiopia

    COVID-19: U.S. Warns Citizens in Ethiopia of Xenophobic Attacks

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    WHO Says Some Nations Aren’t Running Enough Coronavirus Tests

    How it spreads, infects: Coronavirus impact comes into focus

    Coronavirus Sparks an Epidemic of People Helping People in Seattle

    WHO Declares Coronavirus a Pandemic

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Coronavirus Sparks an Epidemic of People Helping People in Seattle

    Ethiopian American Yadesa Bojia is a Seattle artist who was concerned about the lack of information about the coronavirus reaching the Ethiopian community, so he did a Facebook live video in Amharic over the weekend to get accurate information out to the community. (The Seattle Times)

    The Seattle Times

    By Naomi Ishisaka

    In my last column I wrote that the novel coronavirus outbreak showed us the gaps in our social safety net and the systems that we urgently need to fix.

    But what this crisis has also exposed in the past week is the way in which people, guided by their hearts, are stepping up to support each other in extraordinary ways.

    People like Yadesa Bojia, who is a Seattle-based artist and University of Washington graphic designer. Bojia recently became alarmed after talking with other Ethiopian American community members in his first language, Amharic, and realizing there was a lack of solid, scientifically grounded information about the coronavirus getting out to the community. Some people he talked to thought the disease was airborne, others thought it could be cured or prevented with traditional herbal medicine or stopped with vitamin C. Bojia knew that Public Health – Seattle & King County created coronavirus fact sheets in multiple languages, but didn’t think people in his immigrant community would know where to find them.

    So on March 7, Bojia decided to do something about it. Armed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s public health guidance, he started a Facebook live video to read recommendations for the community in Amharic. To his surprise, the video has been viewed 2,000 times and counting. Getting this information out, Bojia said, is “a matter of life and death,” for not just the nearly 25% of King County that are immigrants but the entire community.

    Bojia is just one of many across the region who have lent their resources to help others during this unprecedented time. This pandemic has upended every part of our daily lives and sent social, economic and political shock waves throughout our society. Fear might bring out some of our worst instincts, but crises bring out the best in humanity as well.

    In the days since the Seattle area became the epicenter of the outbreak, the outpouring of support has been moving and inspiring. On an individual level, people have offered free babysitting, cooking and food delivery for harried parents and medically vulnerable older adults.

    After racist coronavirus fears drove down business in Seattle’s Chinatown International District, Bill Tashima, a board member for the local Japanese American Citizens League, created a Facebook group on Sunday to share ways to support small restaurants. Within days, the group had nearly 5,000 members, sharing ideas for restaurant takeout to boost business in the struggling district and creating a virtual “tip jar” that one member was using to collect donations for restaurant workers.

    The artistic community, which already experiences economic insecurity in good times due to unpredictable contract-based work, saw all public events canceled like dominoes in the past week. Seattle-area author Ijeoma Oluo quickly set up a GoFundMe on Monday to raise and distribute funds for artists. Within days, the fund raised $80,000 and distributed $10,000 and was in the process of distributing another $30,000 to artists directly impacted by loss of income due to the coronavirus. Another group of people started a live-performance streaming site on Facebook called “The Quarantine Sessions,” where artists can perform and the audience can tip the band before their performance starts.

    Read more »


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    Coronavirus: Americans Told to ‘Hunker Down’

    Tourists wear face masks as news about the coronavirus is seen in a reflection off a glass surface in Time Square in New York on Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo)

    AP

    UPDATE: March 17th, 2020

    US life with COVID-19: A state-by-state patchwork of rules

    As the nation struggles to reconcile itself to a new and spreading peril, it also struggles with a patchwork of rules that vary dizzyingly from place to place: For now, your life and lockdown in the shadow of COVID-19 depends on where you live.

    In some places, many ordinary Americans are making public health choices, searching their own conscience and deciding for themselves what risk they’re willing to endure. In others, government has made at least some of those decisions.

    Ohio canceled its presidential primary to avoid crowds, but the polls opened Tuesday morning in Florida, Illinois and Arizona. Bars in some states prepared for hordes of St. Patrick’s Day revelers, while elsewhere others are stacking the stools up on tables and locking the doors.

    Casinos in some states have shut down, yet others remain open, where hundreds or even thousands of people touch the same slot machines and gambling chips. Spring breakers are partying by the hundreds on some beaches, while police are sweeping others, ordering people away through loud speakers.

    The federal government on Monday urged Americans not to gather in groups of 10 or more and asked older people to stay home, as the number of infections in the U.S. climbed to more than 4,500, with at least 88 deaths. But hard rules have been left up to the states, creating what New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo derided as a “hodgepodge.”

    Jennifer Dykstra, the owner of a restaurant called Kitchen House in rural Michigan, cried all weekend, paralyzed to choose which prospect seemed more terrifying.

    She could close her restaurant, potentially putting herself out of business and rendering her 25 employees unemployed. Or she could stay open, risking their health and that of their customers, many of them old friends and regulars, who’d suddenly stopped shaking hands on their way in and started instead making nervous jokes about preferring tables in the virus-free section.

    “It’s been lurking in the room, weighing heavily on us: what is the right answer, what is the right thing to do?” she said. Then Michigan announced Monday afternoon that all bars and restaurants must close to dine-in customers: “I’m relieved that the decision was made for us,” Dykstra said.

    Even as some states made stunning announcements — 7 million people in the San Francisco area were put on a near-total lock-down — life carried on in others.

    Read more »


    How it spreads, infects: Coronavirus impact comes into focus

    The Associated Press

    The medical impact of the new coronavirus is coming into sharper focus as it continues its spread in what is now officially recognized as a pandemic.

    Its true fatality rate isn’t yet known, but it seems 10 times higher than the flu, which kills hundreds of thousands around the world each year, the United States’ top infectious disease expert told lawmakers last week.

    Most people have had mild to moderate illness and recovered, but the virus is more serious for those who are older or have other health problems.

    That’s a huge number, said Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who now heads a global health organization. In the U.S., 60% of adults have at least one underlying health condition and 42% have two or more.

    “There’s still a lot that we don’t know” about the virus and disease it causes, COVID-19, he said.

    HOW IT SPREADS

    Most spread is from droplets produced when an infected person coughs, which are inhaled by people nearby. Transmission from touching contaminated surfaces hasn’t been shown yet, though recent tests by U.S. scientists suggest it’s possible — one reason they recommend washing your hands and not touching your face.

    The virus can live in the air for several hours, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Cleaning surfaces with solutions containing diluted bleach should kill it.

    “While we are still learning about the biology of this virus, it does not appear that there is a major risk of spread through sweat,” said Julie Fischer, a Georgetown University microbiologist. The biggest concern about going to the gym is infected people coughing on others, or contaminating shared surfaces or equipment, she said. Consider avoiding large classes and peak hours and don’t go if you’re coughing or feverish, she suggests.

    The risk of virus transmission from food servers is the same risk as transmission from other infected people, but “one of the concerns in that food servers, like others facing stark choices about insurance and paychecks, may be pressured to work even if they are sick,” she said.

    HOW FAST DOES IT SPREAD?

    Each infected person spreads to two or three others on average, researchers estimate. It spreads more easily than flu but less than measles, tuberculosis or some other respiratory diseases. It is not known if it spreads less easily among children, but fewer of them have been diagnosed with the disease. A study of 1,099 patients in China found that 0.9% of the cases were younger than 15.

    WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

    Most people get fever and cough, sometimes fatigue or shortness of breath, and recover after about two weeks. About 15% develop severe disease, including pneumonia, Chinese scientists reported from 45,000 cases there. Symptoms usually start slowly and often worsen as the illness goes on.

    In a report last week on the first 12 patients in the U.S., seven were hospitalized; most had underlying health problems and got worse during the second week of illness.

    In China, slightly more males have been diagnosed with COVID-19 than females, which might be because roughly half of Chinese men smoke but only 5% of females do, Frieden said.

    Children seem to get less sick — a report on 10 in China found that fevers tended to be milder and they lacked clear signs of pneumonia.

    WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?

    Some cruise ship passengers described symptoms similar to the common cold or flu.

    “It’s been a 2 on a scale of 10,” said Carl Goldman, who was hospitalized in Omaha, Nebraska, after flying home.

    However, a Chinese postgraduate student described going to the hospital twice after her symptoms worsened, and feeling “a heavy head while walking, unable to breathe, and nauseous.”

    WHAT’S THE TEST LIKE?

    The CDC recommends at least two swabs — nose and throat. Samples are sent to labs that look for bits of viral genetic material, which takes roughly 4 to 6 hours. Altogether, it can take several days to ship a sample and get results back.

    It’s been taking two to three days, and “we are working really hard to see if we can shorten that time” by developing an in-house test, Dr. Aimee Moulin of the University of California, Davis said Thursday in a conference call held by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

    Some areas have opened drive-thru sites for testing, which could reduce exposure to health workers and other patients or the public.

    WHEN IS THE VIRUS MOST CONTAGIOUS?

    The average time from exposure to developing symptoms is five to six days, but can be up to two weeks. Tests have found high amounts of virus in the throats and noses of people a couple days before they show symptoms.

    Signs of virus also have been found in stool weeks after patients recover, but that doesn’t mean it’s capable of causing illness, scientists warn.

    “The virus can be degraded,” said Robert Webster, a St. Jude Children’s Research Center virus expert. “It’s not necessarily infectious virus at all.”

    HOW DEADLY IS IT?

    That won’t be known until large studies are done to test big groups of people to see how many have been infected and with or without symptoms.

    Scientists have estimated the fatality rate from less than 1% to as high as 4% among cases diagnosed so far, depending on location.

    Flu kills about 0.1% of those it infects, so the new virus seems about 10 times more lethal, the National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress last week.

    The death rate has been higher among people with other health problems — more than 10% for those with heart disease, for example. In the U.S., 30 million have diabetes, more than 70 million are obese and nearly 80 million have high blood pressure.

    CAN INFECTED PEOPLE WHO RECOVER GET IT AGAIN?

    It’s not known. A few reports from China say some people had COVID-19, recovered and then fell ill again. It’s unclear if that’s a relapse, a new infection, or a case where the person never fully recovered in the first place.

    Scientists at the at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle say the 30,000-letter genetic code of the virus changes by one letter every 15 days. It’s not known how many of these changes would be needed for the virus to seem different enough to the immune system of someone who had a previous version of it for it to cause a fresh infection.

    Fauci told Congress on Thursday that it was unlikely that someone could get reinfected.

    “We haven’t formally proved it, but it is strongly likely that that’s the case,” he said. “Because if this acts like any other virus, once you recover, you won’t get reinfected.”

    WILL IT GO AWAY IN THE SUMMER?

    Flu fades each spring and the new virus may do the same, Fauci said last week in a podcast with a journal editor.

    “I am hoping that as we get into the warmer weather we will see a decline that will give us a chance to get our preparedness up to speed,” Fauci said.

    But that, too, is far from certain. “We have to assume that the virus will continue to have the capacity to spread, and it’s a false hope to say yes, it will just disappear in the summertime like influenza,” said Dr. Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief.

    Flu viruses also mutate quickly, requiring new vaccines to be made each year. If the coronavirus follows suit, Frieden said, “It could become a virus that circulates around the world for many years to come.”


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    WHO Declares Coronavirus a Pandemic

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    COVID-19: Ethiopia Closes Schools, Bans Public Events

    Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says steps necessary after new coronavirus cases rise. (AA)

    AA

    By Addis Getachew

    UPDATEd: March 16th, 2020

    Ethiopia Closes Schools, Bans Public Events

    ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia on Monday closed schools across the country and banned all public gatherings, including sports events, for 15 days.

    The decision was announced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after consultations with top officials on measures to avert a COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

    In a televised message, the premier said the steps were necessary after four new cases were confirmed in Ethiopia over the past 24 hours, raising the total to five.

    Among the new cases are two Japanese and an Ethiopian national who had been in contact with the country’s first patient, a 48-year-old Japanese citizen.

    The fourth case was an Ethiopian man who recently returned from Dubai.

    Ahmed said his government was making efforts to provide protective face masks, medical kits, and disinfectants, including sanitizers, for the public.

    He announced that government vehicles would be used for public transport to ease the burden on the existing system.

    With only primary and secondary schools being closed for now, Abiy said that university students would be provided all essential care at their respective campuses.

    After emerging in Wuhan, China, last December, the coronavirus has now spread to at least 146 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The global death toll is nearly 6,500, with around 165,000 confirmed cases.

    While the WHO recently declared the global outbreak a pandemic, its head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the situation was controllable.

    In his remarks at a March 3 briefing on COVID-19, Tedros also pointed out that the mortality rate from the virus was around 3.4%.


    List of African Countries with Coronavirus Grows as Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan Report Cases


    Dr Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health of Ethiopia, addresses a press conference after the first case of Covid-19 coronavirus was detected in Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa on March 13, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

    France24

    Africa had until now largely been spared the rapid spread of COVID-19, which has infected at least 135,000 people and killed around 5,000 worldwide.

    Most of Africa’s reported cases were foreigners or people who had travelled abroad. Rapid testing and quarantines have been put in place to limit transmission.

    But concerns are growing about the continent’s ability to handle the disease.

    Cases have been reported in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia.

    Mauritania’s health ministry said late on Friday that its first coronavirus patient is a European man – nationality not specified – who had returned to Nouakchott on March 9 and had since been in quarantine.

    The numbers of cases in most of the countries are still in single figures…

    Read more »

    WHO Declares Coronavirus a Pandemic


    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization’s director-general, on Wednesday. He called for countries to help protect one another against a common threat. (Getty Images)

    The New York Times

    Updated: March 11, 2020

    Coronavirus Has Become a Pandemic, W.H.O. Says

    The spread of the coronavirus is now a pandemic, officials at the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

    “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director-general.

    Dr. Tedros called for countries to learn from one another’s successes, act in unison and help protect one another against a common threat.

    “Find, isolate, test and treat every case, and trace every contact,” Dr. Tedros said. “Ready your hospitals. Protect and train your health care workers.”

    “Let’s all look out for each other, because we’re in this together to do the right things with calm and to protect the citizens of the world.”

    Although this is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, “we also believe that this is the first pandemic that is able to be controlled,” Dr. Tedros added.

    He pointed several times to the success of China, which has cut new infections from over 3,500 a day in late January to a mere 24 in the most recent daily count. The world is watching to see whether China can keep its numbers down as it gradually releases millions of city dwellers from quarantine and lets them go back to work.

    South Korea and Singapore have also begun to see cases drop. But the rest of the world is seeing alarmingly rapid rises.

    The W.H.O. is emphatically not suggesting that the world should give up on containment, Dr. Tedros said.

    “We are suggesting a blended strategy,” he said, referring to a blend of containment and mitigation. “We should double down. We should be more aggressive.”

    Read more »


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    WHO Declares Coronavirus a Pandemic

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization’s director-general, on Wednesday. He called for countries to help protect one another against a common threat. (Getty Images)

    The New York Times

    Updated: March 11, 2020

    Coronavirus Has Become a Pandemic, W.H.O. Says

    The spread of the coronavirus is now a pandemic, officials at the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

    “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director-general.

    Dr. Tedros called for countries to learn from one another’s successes, act in unison and help protect one another against a common threat.

    “Find, isolate, test and treat every case, and trace every contact,” Dr. Tedros said. “Ready your hospitals. Protect and train your health care workers.”

    “Let’s all look out for each other, because we’re in this together to do the right things with calm and to protect the citizens of the world.”

    Although this is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, “we also believe that this is the first pandemic that is able to be controlled,” Dr. Tedros added.

    He pointed several times to the success of China, which has cut new infections from over 3,500 a day in late January to a mere 24 in the most recent daily count. The world is watching to see whether China can keep its numbers down as it gradually releases millions of city dwellers from quarantine and lets them go back to work.

    South Korea and Singapore have also begun to see cases drop. But the rest of the world is seeing alarmingly rapid rises.

    The W.H.O. is emphatically not suggesting that the world should give up on containment, Dr. Tedros said.

    “We are suggesting a blended strategy,” he said, referring to a blend of containment and mitigation. “We should double down. We should be more aggressive.”

    Read more »


    In U.S., Efforts to Contain Coronavirus Show Signs of Faltering (UPDATE)


    D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser spoke to reporters March 7 in Northwest D.C., saying a man in his 50s was admitted to a D.C. hospital on March 5. (DC Mayor’s Office)

    The Washington Post

    Updated: March 7, 2020

    Efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak showed signs of faltering over the weekend, as Washington, D.C., confirmed its first case Saturday and Italian leaders announced a plan early Sunday to lock down an entire region including Venice and Milan after reporting 1,000 new cases in 24 hours.

    The virus’s exact reach remains unknown. Late Saturday, the American Conservative Union announced that an individual who attended the Conservative Political Action Conference less than two weeks ago had tested positive. President Trump, Vice President Pence and a number of other top White House officials had appeared at the four-day event in Maryland.

    White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said neither Trump nor Pence was in “close proximity to the attendee,” but ACU chairman Matt Schlapp told The Washington Post on Saturday that he himself interacted with the infected person at the event. The precise chronology could not be learned, but Schlapp did shake Trump’s hand on the stage on the last day of the conference.

    “I think we have to be calm and see what occurs here and hope our friend gets better,” Schlapp said.

    White House officials appeared to minimize the risk but said they were taking precautions. Trump told reporters at his personal resort in southern Florida that he wasn’t worried.

    “I’m not concerned at all,” Trump said as he met with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for dinner. He also indicated that his campaign rallies, which draws thousands of supporters to large venues nationwide, will continue, saying: “We’ll hold tremendous rallies.”

    The virus has now spread to more than 30 U.S. states and 99 countries, according to a Washington Post analysis. At least six U.S. governors have declared states of emergency. There are now more than 100,000 infected people in the world and more than 400 confirmed cases in the United States, where there have been at least 19 deaths. This includes the addition Saturday of two in Washington state. Florida officials announced two deaths on Friday night. Officials said they had not known one of the two people was infected until after the death.

    Read more »


    Related:

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: The Ethiopian at the Heart of the Coronavirus Fight

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    The Ethiopian at Heart of Coronavirus Fight

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the first African to lead the World Health Organization. (Getty Images)

    BBC

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: The Ethiopian at the Heart of the Coronavirus Fight

    What a challenge to be the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the time of the coronavirus.

    The entire planet hanging on your every word, addressing daily press conferences at the headquarters in Geneva to detail an ever increasing number of cases in an ever increasing number of countries.

    This is the lot of Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African head of the WHO, who took office two-and-a-half years ago promising to reform the organisation, and to tackle the illnesses that kill millions each year: malaria, measles, childhood pneumonia, or HIV/Aids.

    And yet, while the WHO is undoubtedly working hard on those illnesses, Dr Tedros’ time in office has been dominated first by Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now by Covid-19.

    Both have been declared Public Health Emergencies of International Concern, or PHEICs.

    ‘Charming and unassuming’

    That means they require 24-hour monitoring, deployment of medical staff, equipment and medicines, daily discussions with affected countries and countries who might be affected, and of course, a steady stream of reliable information for an anxious world desperate for immediate answers.

    “Charming” and “unassuming” are some of the words those who know him use to describe the 55-year-old.

    At his first press conference as WHO director general, the Geneva-based journalists were somewhat bemused by his manner.

    He strolled in smiling, sat down and chatted in a very relaxed way, his voice sometimes so quiet it was difficult to hear him. That was a very big change from his more formal predecessor, Margaret Chan.

    And yet behind that quiet manner there must lie a very determined man.

    Before becoming head of the WHO he climbed through the ranks of Ethiopia’s government, becoming health minister and then foreign minister. He could not have risen that far by being self-effacing.

    Brother died of suspected measles

    Dr Tedros was born in 1965 in Asmara, which became Eritrea’s capital after independence from Ethiopia in 1991, and grew up in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

    One formative, and now motivating experience, was the death of a younger brother, who was around four years old at the time, he told Time magazine in November. Later, as a student, Dr Tedros came to suspect it was measles that killed him.

    “I didn’t accept it; I don’t accept it even now,” he was quoted as saying, adding that it was unfair that a child should die from a preventable disease just because he was born in the wrong place.

    “All roads should lead to universal health coverage. I will not rest until we have met this,” he told the World Health Assembly shortly before his election as WHO chief.

    Read more »


    Related:

    UPDATE: Tensions Rise as U.S. Death Toll From Coronavirus Reaches 9

    UN Health Agency Tackles Misinformation Over Virus Outbreak

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    Mystery Sickness in Eastern Ethiopia?

    As villagers in Somali region fall ill in unexplained circumstances, some locals fear gas exploration has tainted the local water supply. (Photo: A natural gas well at one of the Hilal gas fields in Ethiopia’s Somali region/The Guardian)

    The Guardian

    The mystery sickness bringing death and dismay to eastern Ethiopia

    At first, 23-year-old Khadar Abdi Abdullahi’s eyes began turning yellow. Then the palms of his hands did the same. Soon he was bleeding from his nose, and from his mouth, and his body was swelling all over. Eventually he collapsed with fever. He later died.

    A deadly sickness is spreading through villages near a Chinese natural gas project in Ethiopia’s Somali region, according to locals and officials who spoke to the Guardian. Many of Khadar’s neighbours have suffered the same symptoms. Like him, some died.

    It is not clear what is causing the sickness, and officials in the federal government in Addis Ababa firmly denied allegations both of a health and environmental crisis in the Somali region, or of any problems relating to large-scale energy projects there.

    Poly-GCL, a partly state-owned Chinese company, has been prospecting for oil and gas in the Ogaden Basin, as the vicinity is known, since 2014. Calub, roughly 500km south-east of Jigjiga and near neighbouring Somalia, is due to start commercial gas production soon.

    Khadar, like many from the area, is suspicious that the sickness is caused by hazardous chemical waste that has poisoned the water supply.

    “It is the toxins that flow in the rainfall from Calub [gas field] that are responsible for this epidemic,” said Khadar, as he sat outdoors in the eastern Ethiopian city of Jigjiga.

    He had recently been discharged from hospital; doctors there said there was nothing more they could do for him. He was weak and thin and his eyes were sinking into their sockets.

    “There are new diseases that have never been seen before in this area,” said an adviser to the Somali regional government, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    “Without any public health protection, it is very clear that Poly-GCL uses chemicals that are detrimental to human health.”

    It is an allegation the Guardian heard repeatedly during a recent visit to the thinly populated scrubland that surrounds Calub gas field, though it was not able to independently verify its veracity.

    Poly-GCL did not respond to requests to comment.

    Ketsela Tadesse, director of licensing at the federal ministry of mines and petroleum, said the government was not aware of any reports of spillages, adding that in any case there were “there are no permanent settlers” in the vicinity of the gas field.

    “We can emphatically state that all the gas wells at Calub and elsewhere in the Ogaden Basin, are sealed, safe and secured … according to international standards,” Tadesse said.

    What is clear, however, is that the mysterious sickness has caused deaths.

    Read more »


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    UN Health Agency Tackles Misinformation Over Virus Outbreak

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (Photo via AP)

    The Associated Press

    GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization chief has traveled a dozen times to monitor the Ebola response in violence-marred eastern Congo. But when he planned to visit China’s capital last week over a new viral outbreak emerging from central Hubei province, his daughter got worried.

    “Before I left for Beijing, my daughter was saying, ‘Oh, you should not go,’” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confided to the U.N. health agency’s executive board in a public session on Monday.

    The account exemplifies the fine line WHO officials are navigating between fear about the new coronavirus and hopes of increasing international preparedness about an outbreak that has taken more than 360 lives and infected at least 17,238 people in China since late December — and could become a pandemic. So far, growth has been exponential in China, but elsewhere cases remain under 150, scattered across nearly two dozen countries.

    “Instead of spending time on fear and panic, we should say this is the time to prepare,” Tedros said. “Because 146 cases, by any standard, is very low.”

    As governments clamp down on travel to China, airlines suspend flights and Chinese nationals fret about rising xenophobia and ostracism, WHO is calibrating a message of praise to Chinese officials and trying to focus on the epicenter — Wuhan city and surrounding Hubei province — to keep the virus from spiraling out of control. It also wants to help get weaker health systems ready.

    Before he left for the meeting with President Xi Jinping last week, Tedros reassured his daughter: “It’s ok, it’s not all over China.”

    “Even in China, the virus is not evenly spread everywhere, and the risk is not the same,” he recalled. “When I was in Beijing, what we had discussed with the authorities is that our concentrated effort should be in the epicenters, or the sources of the virus.”

    Pausing on a couple of occasions to cough, clear his throat, and drink some water, Tedros quipped: “Don’t worry: It’s not corona,” prompting laughter.

    WHO is also battling misinformation, working with Google to ensure that people get facts from the U.N. health agency first when they search for information about the virus. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Tencent and TikTok have also taken steps to limit the spread of misinformation and rumors about the outbreak.

    Chinese officials are increasingly speaking out. At the executive board meeting, Ambassador Li Song, deputy permanent representative for China in Geneva, lashed out at flight cancellations, visa denials and refusals by some countries to admit citizens of Hubei province — saying those moves went against WHO recommendations.

    Li noted how President Xi, in his meeting with Tedros, had said the coronavirus epidemic “is a devil — we cannot let the devil hide.”

    “At the same time, the international community needs to treat the new virus objectively, fairly, calmly, and rationally, and not over-interpret it negatively and pessimistically, or deliberately create panic,” Li said.

    “We need facts, not fear. We need science, not rumors. We need solidarity, not stigma.”

    Since the outbreak began, a number of misleading claims and hoaxes about the virus have circulated online. They include false conspiracy theories that the virus was created in a lab and that vaccines have already been manufactured, exaggerations about the number of sick and dead, and claims about bogus cures.

    On Sunday, WHO lamented that the outbreak and response have been accompanied “by a massive ‘infodemic’ — an overabundance of information, some accurate and some not — that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.

    The report said WHO, the U.N. health agency, was working “24 hours a day to identify the most prevalent rumors that can potentially harm the public’s health, such as false prevention measures or cures.”

    Tedros also addressed his decision last week to classify the virus outbreak as a global emergency, saying the move was prompted by increased human-to-human spread of the virus to numerous countries and the fear it could have a significant impact on developing countries with weaker health systems.

    Tedros said recent outbreaks such as the new virus and Ebola demonstrated the shortcomings of the “binary” emergency system, calling it “too restrictive, too simplistic, and not fit for purpose.”

    “We have a green light, a red light, and nothing in-between,” he said, adding that WHO was considering options to allow for an “intermediate level of alert.”

    In July, Tedros declared the Ebola outbreak in Congo a global emergency: There have been 3,421 cases and 2,242 deaths from it since the outbreak began 18 months ago.

    The WHO executive board, which is starting a six-day meeting, plans to hold a special technical session on the virus Tuesday.


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    11th Ethiopian Diaspora Conference on Health Care & Medical Education

    The 2019 Ethiopian Diaspora Conference on Health Care & Medical Education will be held in Arlington, Virginia on Saturday, October 19th. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    October 18th, 2019

    New York (TADIAS) — The 11th annual Ethiopian Diaspora Conference on Health Care & Medical Education will take place this weekend in Arlington, Virginia.

    Hosted by People to People Inc. (P2P) and the Network of Ethiopian Diaspora Healthcare Professionals, the yearly gathering attracts a diverse group of health practitioners across the country including physicians as well as medical and allied health students. The theme for this year’s conference is “End Stage Renal Disease in Resource Malaligned Countries – Issues of Ethics and Equity.”

    Guest speakers for the program include the Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States, Fistum Arega, and several distinguished medical professionals covering a wide array of presentation topics such as enhancing the availability and affordability of pharmaceuticals in Ethiopia as well as promoting “Partnerships in Health; Diaspora Professionals as the link between Ethiopian and US Institutions.”

    The event is scheduled to be held on Saturday October 19th at the Residence Inn Arlington, Pentagon City with sponsors including the Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development (MCSCPD).

    Below are some of the speakers listed on the program courtesy of P2P:

    Alodia Gabre-Kidan, M.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Alodia Gabre-Kidan is an assistant professor of surgery specializing in colorectal surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine. She earned her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a masters of public health degree from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She completed general surgery residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital – Columbia Campus and a colorectal surgery fellowship at Cleveland Clinic Florida. She performs a variety of colorectal surgical procedures including minimally invasive options

    Getachew Begashaw, PhD

    Getachew Begashaw was born and raised in Ethiopia. He completed his undergraduate studies in History at Haile Selassie I University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Economics at University of California, Santa Cruz. He did both his Masters and Ph.D in Economics and Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University. He is the founder and President of Vision Ethiopia. Dr. Begashaw’s area of studies and research, beside general theories of economics, are primarily focused in public service expenditures, international trade, and economics of development.

    Fasika Tedla, M.D.

    Dr. Fasika M. Tedla is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Associate Medical Director of the Kidney Transplant Program at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. After graduating from Jimma University Faculty of Medicine, he completed his residency in internal medicine at a teaching affiliate of New York Medical College (formerly Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center) and his nephrology, transplant nephrology, and interventional nephrology training at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. He also has graduate training and board certification in clinical informatics.

    Maaza Sophia Abdi, M.D.

    Dr. Maaza Abdi is a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed her Internal Medicine residency and fellowship at MedStar Georgetown University Medical Center. She worked in a private practice setting for ten years before joining Johns Hopkins, where she currently works as a GI hospitalist caring for patients with a variety of gastrointestinal disorders at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

    Momina Ahmed, M.D.

    After training as an ISN Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand Hospital in 2011 and through a growing collaboration with the University of Michigan, Dr. Momina Ahmed established nephrology programs at SPHMMC to cater for more kidney transplants and treat acute kidney injury.

    Tigist Hailu, M.D.

    Dr. Tigist Hailu is a general cardiologist in the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute of the Division of Medicine. She received her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine. She completed her medical residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and pursued a fellowship in cardiology at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell Campus.She practiced in a private cardiology group for 4 years before joining Johns Hopkins in 2009. In addition to practicing clinical cardiology, she is expert is cardiac imaging including echocardiography and nuclear cardiology.

    Sosena Kebede, M.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Sosena Kebede is an Internal Medicine physician with over 17 years of combined clinical, public health, and quality improvement experience with a committing to finding solutions to health system challenges in the US and abroad. She completed her medical degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and Internal Medicine residency at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. She obtained a masters of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She specializes in the areas of population health, and health service delivery improvement and has several years of domestic and global experience in scientific research and health workforce training.

    Merfake Semret, MD

    Dr. Merfake Semret is practicing Nephrology at Peninsula Kidney Associates, in Hampton/Newport news/Williamsburg, Virginia. He received medical degree from Addis Ababa University Medical Faculty (Black Lion) and MPH from Royal Tropical Institute, the Netherlands. He then proceeded to serve as Public Health consultant in different parts of SNNPR(Ethipia). Dr. Semret immigrated to the U.S. in 2002 and completed Internal Medicine residency at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan and Nephrology fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Currently he is practicing Nephrology at Peninsula Kidney Associates, in Hampton/Newport news/Williamsburg, Virginia

    Ergeba Sheferaw, M.D.,M.P.H

    Dr. Ergeba Sheferaw is a radiologist at Advanced Radiology in Baltimore, MD. She specializes in breast imaging and completed her fellowship at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. She is interested in improving breast cancer care in Ethiopia and recently worked with the first breast imaging fellows at St. Paul Millenium College Hospital. She has been an active member of People to People and now serves as a board member and assistant editor of the newsletter. She completed her medical degree and Master of Public Health from University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill.

    Yewondwossen Tadesse Mengistu, M.D.

    Yewondwossen Tadesse Mengistu is a Consultant Nephrologist and an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the School of Medicine of Addis Ababa University (AAU), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Yewondwossen did his undergraduate medical studies at the School of Medicine, Addis Ababa University graduating as an MD in 1984. He did his internal medicine residency training in the same school and completed a fellowship training in Nephrology at the University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban, South Africa, 1999-2000. He has served as the head of the renal Unit in the department of Internal Medicine of the School of Medicine, AAU and the Tikur Anbessa Hospital, Addis Ababa for nearly two decades. He has also served two terms as head of the department of Internal Medicine. Yewondwossen’s research interest is in the epidemiology of kidney diseases and other non-communicable diseases. He is a Past President of the Ethiopian Medical Association and serves in the Council of the African Association of Nephrology (AFRAN). Yewondwossen is a member of the Africa Board of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) as well as the Continuing Medical Education Committee of the ISN.

    Micheas Zemedkun, M.D.

    Dr. Zemedkun received his MD degree from Harvard Medical School. His residency in internal medicine form New York medical College, fellowship in cardiovascular medicine form MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He is board certified internist and cardiologist from American Board of Internal medicine, and currently practicing around the metropolitan Washington DC area.

    Wudneh M. Temesgen, MD

    Dr. Wudneh Temesgen is a surgeon who practices general surgery with a focus on minimally invasive surgery. He obtained his medical degree from Gondar College of Medical Sciences. He completed his general surgery residency at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and his fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery at Brown University. He is currently practicing general surgery in the Maryland and DC area.

    Demissie Alemayehu, PhD

    Demissie Alemayehu, PhD, is Vice President and Head of the Statistical Research & Data Science Center at Pfizer Inc, and holds a joint appointment with Columbia University, where he is also Director of Graduate Studies (MA) in the Statistics Department. Dr. Alemayehu obtained his first degree from Addis Ababa University, where he was the recipient of the 1980 Science Faculty Gold Medal. Subsequently, he earned a PhD degree in Statistics from the University of California at Berkeley. In the United States, Dr. Alemayehu has received numerous accolades, including election as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in recognition of his superlative achievements in original research, teaching and service to the profession. Dr Alemayehu is an active member of various professional societies and institutions, and serves on advisory boards in major universities, including Stevens Institute of Technology and RUSIS at Oregon State University. He has served as a reviewer for and on the editorial boards of major scientific journals. He has published extensively on statistical methodology and applications in medical research and has coauthored at least two monographs. Dr Alemayehu’s research interest spans diverse topics ranging from asymptotic theory in mathematical statistics to leveraging modern machine learning tools in drug development. More recently, Dr Alemayehu has been interested in exploring the potential of the digital revolution to influence decision making in such developing countries as Ethiopia, with emphasis on the advancement of good governance and protection of natural and cultural heritage.

    Anteneh Habte, MD

    Dr. Anteneh Habte is currently serving as Chairman of People to People’s (P2P) Board of Directors. He is the Medical Director of the Community Living Center at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, WV and clinical faculty at both the West Virginia School of Medicine and the Lewisburg School of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Anteneh is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and a certified educator of palliative and end-of-life care (EPEC). He coordinates People to People (P2P)’s effort to promote the training of medical personnel and provision of clinical services in hospice and palliative care in Ethiopia. Dr. Anteneh is one of the editors of a series of web based modules in Hospice and Palliative Care for Ethiopia prepared under the auspices of the Mayo Clinic Global HIV Initiative. He is also a contributor to P2P’s recently published ‘Triangular Partnership’ manuscript.

    Dawd S. Siraj, M.D., MPH&TM, FIDSA

    Dr. Dawd S. Siraj is a Professor of Medicine, and an infectious disease physician at the University of Wisconsin. He received his medical degree from Jimma University in Ethiopia. He completed his internal medicine residency training at St. Barnabas Hospital Bronx, NY. He subsequently completed an Infectious Diseases fellowship and a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, at Tulane University,in New Orleans, Louisiana.. He currently serves as the Vice President and Board Member of Ethio-American Doctors Group, Inc and People to People (P2P. He has actively participated in numerous Infectious Diseases and HIV activities in Ethiopia,

    Enawgaw Mehari, MD.

    Dr. Enawgaw Mehari, Adjunct Professor in Clinical Neurolgy is a Neurologist at Kings Daughter Medical Center in Kentucky and founder of People to People USA (P2P). He founded P2P at the end of his residency training and has since expanded the services of P2P, including opening the People’s Free Clinic in Morehead, KY, in 2005 for the working poor who have no health insurance.

    Melaku Demede M.D., MHSc, FACC, FSCAI

    Dr. Melaku Demede graduated from AAU faculty of Medicine in 1995 and completed internship, residency and fellowship from SUNY Downstate Health Science Center Brooklyn, NY. Had done Post graduation from Victoria University of Manchester in MHSc Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Currently, He is Chief of Cardiology and Medical Director of Cardiac Cath Lab in ARH Beckley, WV. Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine West Virginia University School of Medicine, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine UK community Faculty, WVU DO School and Lincoln Memorial University School of Medicine. Board Certified in Intervention Cardiology, Cardiovascular Medicine, Internal Medicine, Echocardiography and Nuclear Cardiology.

    Kebede H. Begna, M.D., Msc.

    Dr. Kebede H. Begna an Associate Professor and consultant haematologist, practicing at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He received his medical degree from Gondar University in Ethiopia. He finished internal medicine residency at St. Vincent Medical College, an affiliate of New York Medical College, where he was the Chief Resident. He completed hematology and medical oncology fellowship and obtained Masters in clinical research at the University of Minnesota, and later joined the Mayo Clinic, Division of Hematology in Rochester, Minnesota. He authored and co-authored many publications and book chapter. He currently serves on the board of Ethio-American Doctors Group, Inc.

    Fasika A. Woreta, M.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Fasika A. Woreta is an assistant professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed her medical degree, internship, and residency at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She performed a fellowship in cornea and refractive surgery at the Bascom-Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami and a cataract fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, UK. She is the director of the eye trauma center and program director of the ophthalmology residency program at Johns Hopkins. She specializes in corneal and external eye diseases, including cataracts, ocular trauma, and refractive surgery.

    Tinsay A. Woreta, M.D., M.P.H

    Dr. Tinsay A. Woreta is an assistant professor of medicine and a gastroenterologist/hepatologist at Johns Hopkins University school of medicine.. She received her medical degree, internal medicine residency, and gastroenterology/transplant hepatology fellowship from Johns Hopkins University. She specializes in acute and chronic liver diseases, and has authored many publications and book chapters.

    Yonas E. Geda, M.D.

    Dr. Yonas E. Geda is a Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry. He is a Consultant in the Department of Psychiatry & Psychology, and Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic. Following a formal search process, Dr. Geda was recently named Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion for all the 5 colleges/ schools at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. Dr. Geda earned his doctor of medicine (M.D.) degree from Addis Ababa (Haile Selassie) University, and subsequently pursued his trainings in Psychiatry, Behavioral Neurology, and a Master’s of Science (MSc) degree in biomedical sciences at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His research examines the impact of lifestyle factors and neuropsychiatric symptoms on brain aging and mild cognitive impairment. He has published over 115 peer reviewed papers in major journals including in Neurology, JAMA Neurology, JAMA Psychiatry and American Journal of Psychiatry. Dr. Geda has several institutional, national and international leadership roles. He is a member of the Science Committee of the French Alzheimer’s research group (Groupe de Recherche sur la maladie d’Alzheimer; GRAL). He is the current chair of the award committee of the Neuropsychiatric syndromes professional interest area (PIA) of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC). He is a recipient of many awards, including a medal from the City of Marseille, France in 2003, and from the City of La Ciotat, France in 2016 for his contributions to the field of Alzheimer’s research. As a resident, he won the prestigious Mayo Brother’s Distinguished Fellowship Award.

    Keith Martin, M.D

    Dr. Keith Martin is the founding Executive Director of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) based in Washington, DC. The Consortium is a rapidly growing organization of over 170 academic institutions from around the world. It harnesses the capabilities of these institutions across research, education, advocacy and service to address global challenges. It is particularly focused on improving health outcomes for the global poor and strengthening academic global health programs. Dr. Martin is the author of more than 150 editorial pieces published in Canada’s major newspapers and has appeared frequently as a political and social commentator on television and radio. He is currently a board member of the Jane Goodall Institute, editorial board member for the Annals of Global Health and an advisor for the International Cancer Expert Corps. He has contributed to the Lancet Commission on the Global Surgery Deficit, is a current commissioner on the Lancet-ISMMS Commission on Pollution, Health and Development and is a member of the Global Sepsis Alliance.


    If You Go:

    Saturday, October 19th, 2019
    Time: 7:30AM – 5:45PM
    Residence Inn Arlington Pentagon City
    550 Army Navy Drive Arlington, VA 22202

    Registration Fees
    Physicians and professionals: $150(all day); $100 (half day)

    Allied Health Professionals, residents and fellows:
    $100(all day); $75(half day)
    Medical and allied health students: free (with ID)

    (Fee will also covers cost of food and refreshments)

    Click here to Register

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.–

    Medical Education and the Ethiopian Exodus of Talent — Inside Higher Ed

    This is the second essay on government policy in Ethiopia directed at developing and retaining talent. Last week's post addressed the challenge of improving research productivity. (Photo: St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa/Facebook)

    Inside Higher Ed

    By Wondwosen Tamrat

    A 2012 study at Addis Ababa University showed that around 53 percent of medical students hoped to emigrate upon graduating, particularly to the United States and Europe.

    This is the second essay on government policy in Ethiopia directed at developing and retaining talent. Last week’s post addressed the challenge of improving research productivity.

    On May 3rd 2019, the Prime Minister (PM) of Ethiopia held a meeting with 3 thousand health professionals from all over the country to discuss the state of health services and the challenges health workers are facing. Although the Prime Minister declared that the meeting was “key for policymaking” the health professionals appeared to be unsatisfied with the way he addressed their predicament. In spite of the concessions and the many promises made, a wave of strikes continued across the whole country.

    While the solution to this particular turmoil might be the immediate concern of the government, there is general recognition that the sector’s challenges extend far beyond the current standoff and need structural and systemic changes. The government vows to make additional efforts and changes with the involvement of relevant stakeholders at national and regional levels. One challenge that needs to be addressed is the migration of health professionals, especially physicians, a tendency that has seen little change over the years.

    Healthcare and medical education in Ethiopia

    At a global level Sub-Saharan Africa is known for the lowest density of healthcare workers. According to the World Health Organization, Ethiopia has a health workforce ratio of 0.7 against the recommended ratio of 2.3 per 1000 population that is considered to be imperative for health coverage and making meaningful health interventions. Ethiopia’s physician-to-population ratio of 1: 21,000 is also regarded as one of the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Since 1994 the government’s health development programs have had important impact on the sector’s growth. According to the Ministry of Health (2016) there has been a significant increase in health posts, health centers, hospitals and personnel including officers, nurses, midwives and health extension workers. The number of schools and colleges providing health education training has increased; the graduation output of public and private schools including higher education institutions has also grown more than 16-fold since 1999/2000. According to the Ministry of Education (2018) there are currently more than 80,000 undergraduate students who pursue studies in medicine and health sciences both in public and private higher education institutions.

    Despite the efforts towards improving the healthcare system that have produced quantitative gains, many challenges remain. The system is still deficient in infrastructure and resources, quality of education, internal quality assurance systems, performance assessment and retention, skill distribution, regional disparities that result in poor motivation to work in rural areas, little inclination to specialize in disciplines where there are skill shortages and more.

    In order to respond to these multi-faceted challenges, the Ministry of Health has devised several strategies including its popular “flood and retain initiative” designed to bring meaningful change to the number of available health workers at all levels. While some improvements have resulted through such interventions, it has not been possible to solve the various challenges of the sector in a fundamental way, including the migration of physicians who continue to leave the public sector and Ethiopia for greener pastures inside the country and elsewhere.

    Read more »


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    P2P Announces 2017 Ethiopian Health Care & Medical Education Conference

    (Photo: Courtesy of People to People -P2P)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    July 6th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — The U.S.-based non-profit organization for Ethiopian health care professionals in the Diaspora, People to People (P2P), announced that it will be hosting its 9th annual Health Care and Medical Education conference on September 23rd, 2017 at the Residence Inn, Pentagon City, just outside of Washington, D.C.

    “The central theme for this year will be ‘Cancer and Cancer Care,’ a topic you will agree, is gaining increasing importance in Ethiopia and beyond,” said Dr. Enawgaw Mehari, Founder and President of P2P in a statement.

    The conference will address the current status of cancer care in Ethiopia and participants will “brainstorm on ways to support clinical care, education and research in this field,” Dr. Enawgaw shared in his letter. “To this end, we have assembled an impressive roster of speakers with wide experience in academia, and building and supporting fellowship programs in Hematology and Oncology.”

    Dr. Enawgaw added: “P2P has been promoting the concept of triangular partnership since its inception in 2009. This model recognizes the pivotal role Diaspora Health Professionals can play in fostering partnerships between US and Ethiopian institutions of higher learning. The conference this September will provide further opportunity to network and meet Ethiopian and US institutions of higher learning who share the same mission and vision.”


    If You Go:
    P2P 9th annual Health Care and Medical Education conference
    September 23rd 2017
    The Residence Inn, Pentagon City
    Arlington, Virginia
    www.p2pbridge.org

    Related:
    Watch: 2015 People to People (P2P) Conference Award Ceremony

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    A Bone Marrow Drive Underway at Ethiopian Soccer Tournament

    (Photo: ESFNA Instagram)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    July 5th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — A timely bone marrow donor drive is being hosted by the Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA) at this year’s annual Ethiopian soccer tournament and cultural festival that’s taking place this week in the Seattle suburb of Renton, Washington.

    ESFNA announced that the bone marrow registry will be held in the vendor area of the tournament and festival in coordination with Be The Match organization, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program.

    “Our hope is to offer a cure for the thousands of people diagnosed with life-threatening cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma each year,” ESFNA said. “Many of these people are of Ethiopian descent.”

    Last month we featured Elsa, an Ethiopian-Canadian mother of two children, who is currently in urgent need of life-saving marrow transplant, and who has not yet found a match in the current International Registry of 29 million individuals.

    “We encourage all interested parties to please visit the Bone Marrow Registry at Renton Memorial Stadium,” ESFNA added. “Through your donations, lives can be saved.”

    Related:
    Elsa Nega, Mother of 2 in Canada Needs Life-Saving Marrow Transplant

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    Elsa Nega, Mother of 2 in Canada Needs Life-Saving Marrow Transplant

    Because Elsa Nega is an Ethiopian, her chances of finding a donor on the international registry is slim and so her family is appealing to Ethiopians worldwide to help save her life by joining the registry at Match4Elsa.com

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    June 21st, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Elsa (Elizabeth) Nega is an Ethiopian-Canadian mother of two children who is currently in urgent need of life-saving marrow transplant. Her family is searching worldwide to find a match for Elsa. “Her brother and sister in Ethiopia were her best hope but are not matches,” states a recent press release. “Of the 29 million people in the International Registry, no matches have been found.”

    According to her family Elsa was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia after she suddenly fell ill earlier this year. A statement from the family said she walked into her local ER on February 8 and was rushed into an intensive care unit. The following day she was diagnosed with the acute form of leukemia (or cancer of the white blood cells). “She started on chemo immediately,” the statement said. “Unlike 90% of patients who go into remission after the first round of chemo, Elsa did not. Now, after 3 rounds of chemo, a bone marrow transplant is her only hope of recovery.”


    Elsa Nega. (Courtesy photo)

    Because Elsa is Ethiopian, her chances of finding a donor on the registry are slim, and so her family is appealing to Ethiopians worldwide to join the registry to help save Elsa and so many others like her. “Specifically, there is a great need for young adults, ages 18-35, of African descent. The younger a person is, the healthier their marrow is, which means more possible matches for patients like Elsa.”


    You can learn more and join the match registry as potential marrow donors at Match4Elsa.com.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Tedros Adhanom Elected Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO)

    Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General-Elect (center), with Dr Veronika Skvortsova, President of the 70th World Health Assembly (left), and Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. (UN photo)

    The Associated Press

    Published: May 23rd, 2017

    GENEVA — Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a former Ethiopian minister of health, was elected as the next director-general of the World Health Organization on Tuesday, becoming the first non-medical doctor and the first African tapped to lead the U.N. health agency.

    Delegates, health ministers and other high-level envoys chose Tedros over Britain’s Dr. David Nabarro, a U.N. veteran, in the third and final round of voting. Tedros had 133 votes to Nabarro’s 50, with two abstentions.

    The third candidate, Pakistan’s Dr. Sania Nishtar, was eliminated in the first round.

    Ethiopian delegates could be seen hugging and high-fiving each other after their countryman made it to the second round. Tedro succeeds China’s Dr. Margaret Chan, who is ending a 10-year tenure at the U.N. health agency on June 30.

    The director-general of WHO wields considerable power in setting medical priorities that affect billions of people and declaring when crises like disease outbreaks evolve into global emergencies.

    The agency has stumbled in recent years, most notably in its error-prone response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa and all three candidates vowed to overhaul its organization to restore credibility.

    Of the U.N. health agency’s 194 member states, 185 were eligible to cast ballots; nine others either were in arrears on their dues or not represented at the gathering.

    Jean-Marie Ehouzou, the African Union’s top envoy in Geneva, expressed “happiness, happiness, happiness” at the result.

    “It’s not only a question of symbolism,” he said, referring to Tedros’ status as the first African to run WHO. “It shows when we are united, we can do everything.”

    Read more »

    —-
    News Release

    United Nations

    Ethiopia’s Tedros Adhanom elected to top UN health post

    GENEVA – The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the United Nations health agency, today elected Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

    “Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017,” WHO said in a statement following the afternoon vote.

    Among his previous positions, Dr. Tedros was Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and, prior, Minister of Health.

    He also served as Chair of the Global Fund and of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board (RBM), where he secured “record funding” for the two organizations and created the Global Malaria Action Plan, which expanded RBM’s reach beyond Africa to Asia and Latin America, according to the UN agency.

    The incoming health chief was chosen from amongst three nominees presented to the World Health Assembly, along with David Nabarro from the UK, and Sania Nishtar from Pakistan, in a process that began before September 2016.

    Dr. Tedros will succeed Margaret Chan, who yesterday addressed the World Health Assembly for the final time after serving two consecutive five-year terms.


    Related:
    Ethiopian wins race to be next leader of UN health agency (The Associated Press)

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    George W. Bush: PEPFAR Saves Millions of Lives in Africa. Keep it Fully Funded.

    Former president George W. Bush greets children at a school in Gaborone, Botswana. (Reuters)

    The Washington Post

    By George W. Bush

    George W. Bush served as 43rd president of the United States and founded the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas.

    Last week in Gaborone, Botswana, Laura and I sat in a small room in Tlokweng Main Clinic, a facility that recently started screening and treating women for cervical cancer. Seated with us was Leithailwe Wale, a 40-year-old woman who was diagnosed with the disease. Thanks to early detection and access to treatment, she told us, today she is alive, healthy and able to raise her son.

    Good news like Leithailwe’s is becoming increasingly common in five African countries where Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is operating. Since leaving the White House, Laura and I have been heartbroken to learn that because women with HIV are more likely to have cervical cancer, people who had been saved from AIDS were needlessly dying from another treatable, preventable disease. So at the Bush Institute, we formed this global public-private partnership to fight women’s cancers.

    In the past six years, more than 370,000 women have been screened for cervical cancer and 24,000 for breast cancer through Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon. More than 119,000 girls have been vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to cervical and other cancers. Nearly 1,000 health workers have been trained. With the proper resources and international commitment, we could end cervical cancer deaths on the continent in 30 years.

    Critical to this effort is our Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partner, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). My administration launched PEPFAR in 2003 to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic that threatened to wipe out an entire generation on the continent of Africa…As the executive and legislative branches review the federal budget, they will have vigorous debates about how best to spend taxpayers’ money — and they should. Some will argue that we have enough problems at home and shouldn’t spend money overseas. I argue that we shouldn’t spend money on programs that don’t work, whether at home or abroad. But they should fully fund programs that have proven to be efficient, effective and results-oriented. Saving nearly 12 million lives is proof that PEPFAR works, and I urge our government to fully fund it. We are on the verge of an AIDS-free generation, but the people of Africa still need our help. The American people deserve credit for this tremendous success and should keep going until the job is done.

    Read the full article at The Washington Post »


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    2016 P2P Ethiopian Diaspora Healthcare & Medical Education Conference

    P2P honors founders of Ethiopia's Project Mercy Woizero Marta Wolde-Tsadik & Ato Demeke Tekle-Wold (Center) in Arlington, Virginia on Saturday, September 26th, 2015. (Photograph by Tsedey Aragie for Tadias)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — The 2016 Ethiopian Diaspora Conference on Health care and Medical Education will be held on September 17th in Springfield, Virginia.

    The annual conference, which celebrates its eighth anniversary this year, is organized by People to people (P2P), Inc., a U.S.-based NGO established in 1999 in the state of Kentucky as a non-profit organization to serve as network of Ethiopian health care professionals practicing abroad.

    P2P announced topics scheduled to be discussed at the upcoming gathering include “Promoting Neuroscience in Ethiopia; The Global movement to scale up mental health care: The case of Ethiopia; Diaspora Partnership Projects; as well as Abstract and Poster Presentations on Health Related Topics relevant to Ethiopia.”

    The 2016 Scientific Conference Chair is Professor Yonas E. Geda of Mayo Clinic in Arizona.


    If You Go:
    DATE & TIME:
    Saturday, September 17th, 2016
    7:30 AM to 4:00 PM
    Location: Hilton Springfield
    6550 Loisdale Road,
    Springfield, Virginia 22150
    www.p2pbridge.org

    Related:
    P2P Survey Studies Use of Complementary Medicine Among Ethiopians in U.S.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    P2P Survey Studies Use of Complementary Medicine Among Ethiopians in U.S.

    Traditional and herbal medicine from Ethiopia. (Photo: World Health Organization)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Thursday, June 30th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — A new online survey recently launched by an association of Ethiopian doctors based in the United States aims to study the use of supplemental traditional medicine among the Ethiopian Diaspora population in North America.

    The survey, which is managed by complementary medicine experts from People to People (P2P) — an Ethiopian Diaspora Health Care Organization — will look at the “use of herbals, supplements and other traditional modalities by the Ethiopian Diaspora in the USA,” the announcement said, hoping to investigate any interactions between traditional and modern prescribed medications.

    “It is our hope that the results of the study will provide a clearer picture of the practice, and help clinicians and other healthcare professionals consider this aspect of medication history when they provide care to their patients,” P2P added. “As part of the Ethiopian Diaspora community we invite you to participate in this study.”

    The Ethiopian American physicians’ group said that it anticipates compiling and analyzing the data, and making it available to the public in less than a year. They emphasized that “no personally identifiable information will be stored or shared,” and that the privacy of participants will be protected.


    To learn more and take the survey click here » Complementary Medicine by the Ethiopian Diaspora in the USA

    Related:
    Herbal medicine and medicinal plants in Fiche, Ethiopia (Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedcine)
    Shiro, The Sure Thing: Why It’s Good For You By Dr. Asqual Getaneh (TADIAS)
    Our Beef with Kitfo: Are Ethiopians in America Subscribing to the Super Sizing of Food? (TADIAS)
    Gomen for Breakfast? By Nesanet T. Abegaze (TADIAS)
    Video: 2015 P2P Ethiopian Health Care Conference & Award Ceremony

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    Psychiatrist Welansa Asrat Reflects on the High Cost of Untreated ADHD

    The author of the following article, Dr. Welansa Asrat, is an adult psychiatrist in private practice at WPsychiatry in New York City. Her areas of interest are ADHD and mood disorders. (Image via CTT)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Welansa Asrat, M.D.

    Published: Saturday, October 10th, 2015

    New York — This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week and this year’s theme is stigma. The Stigma-Free initiative encourages us to educate others about mental illness, to see the person and not the diagnosis, and to take action on mental health. Despite all the initiatives to reduce stigma, it continues to discourage and shame many from getting help.

    October also happens to be ADHD Awareness Month. Although plenty of adults struggle with symptoms of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which has a prevalence rate of 5% or higher, its impact is often not appreciated until it is too late.

    The following are the most common symptoms seen in Adults with ADHD: Difficulty concentrating; Chronic forgetfulness; Poor organizational skills; Chronic boredom; Relationship problems; Employment problems; and Depression/Anxiety.

    There are 3 types of ADHD: the inattentive type, the hyperactive-impulsive type and the combined inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive type. One reason why women are often not diagnosed until adulthood is because women tend to have the inattentive type, which is harder to detect without the obvious signs of hyperactivity.

    The majority of ADHD patients that I see in my practice were diagnosed as adults. They managed to make it into adulthood without any professional help by finding creative ways to compensate for their ADHD symptoms. They were forced to address their symptoms in graduate school or as professionals, when their poor organizational skills and inability to complete simple tasks caused academic, occupational or interpersonal difficulties.

    Adults with ADHD are labeled as ‘lazy,’ even though they tend to be highly creative and gifted people. Their lack of productivity and their impulsive behaviors often damage their relationships and self-esteem, which can negatively impact the overall trajectory of their lives. They also have higher rates of automobile accidents and emergency room visits, as well as a greater risk of substance abuse.

    By the time an adult makes an appointment to see a mental health practitioner, he/she is often on the verge of losing a scholarship, a relationship or a job. Both the behavioral modifications and the medications provide some relief, including increased productivity. Though the medications can improve concentration and diminish impulsive behaviors, they have a number of potential side-effects including jitteriness, increased anxiety and decreased appetite.

    On this Mental Illness Awareness Week and ADHD Awareness Month, let’s all take the pledge to educate, see the person and not the illness, and take action.


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    University of Michigan Surgeons Lead First-Ever Kidney Transplants in Ethiopia

    University of Michigan surgeons lead a team of doctors in performing the first successful kidney transplants in Ethiopia. (Courtesy of U-M)

    MLive

    By Jeremy Allen

    It took more than two years for a group of University of Michigan surgeons to establish a transplant center in Ethiopia, and their work culminated in a historic event last week.

    U-M transplant surgeon Jeffrey Punch lead his team to the successful completion of three kidney transplants from living donors between Sept. 22 and 24. The Michigan team performed the surgeries with assistance from four Ethiopian fellowship surgeons at St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    “We’ve been working for more than two years to establish the kidney transplants program in Ethiopia, and the team is so proud to be a part of this historic milestone for the country,” Punch, a professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School, said in a news release.

    “The real winners are the patients with kidney disease who up until now have had no treatment option other than very expensive dialysis that some just can’t afford.”

    The collaboration between U-M and St. Paul’s started through the initiative of Dr. Senait Fisseha, an adjunct professor in U-M Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

    Fisseha was born in Ethiopia and first took Punch to Ethiopia to support the surgery residency training program. She also introduced Punch to the Minister of Health of Ethiopia who asked the two U-M doctors to help Ethiopia start a kidney transplant program.

    The Transplant Center facility at St. Paul’s is “an enviable a model for how to deliver transplant care,” Punch said, and it includes dedicated donor and recipient operating rooms that are adjacent to each other to facilitate transfer of the donor kidney.

    “Everyone here is ecstatic. The feeling reminds me of when I was a medical student and watched U-M’s doctors do the first liver transplant at U-M in 1985,” he said.

    “The surgeons and internists in Ethiopia are first rate, and St. Paul’s management is going about everything in the right way, upgrading anesthesia, laboratory, pathology, nursing, pharmacy and radiology services to make sure patients do well in the long run.”

    Read more at MLive.com »


    Related:
    U-M Names Ethiopian Doctor Lia Tadesse Head of Center for International Reproductive Health
    University of Michigan becomes a key partner in Ethiopia’s medical revolution
    $25 M grant backs U-M project to curb maternal deaths in Ethiopia, other developing nations


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    Ethiopia: Obama’s Call to End FGM

    While some Ethiopians praise the US president’s speech in Addis Ababa, other activists are concerned his message did not reach the people who needed to hear it the country's remote villages. (Photo: David Smith)

    The Guardian

    By David Smith

    Last updated on Sunday 2 August 2015

    Awash, Ethiopia – When she was a girl, Sadiya Aliye’s genitals were cut, as she was told tradition dictated. So when she became a mother to four daughters, she put all of them through the same agonising ritual.

    But attitudes, and law enforcement, are changing in Ethiopia. Aliye was arrested all four times, spent two months in jail and paid $50 fines. “I was very angry,” she recalls. “They beat me.” Her husband, the midwife and those who held down the girls were also punished.

    Efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) received a further boost last weekend when Barack Obama told an audience in Kenya: “There’s no excuse for sexual assault or domestic violence, there’s no reason that young girls should suffer genital mutilation, there’s no place in a civilised society for the early or forced marriage of children. These traditions may go back centuries; they have no place in the 21st century.”

    He reiterated the message in Addis Ababa to an effusive audience. But 235km away in the remote and arid Afar region of north-eastern Ethiopia, where a decade ago nine in 10 girls suffered FGM, Aliye was only vaguely aware of the US president’s visit. In her modest mud brick home in the dusty village of Awash, where horses and carts are still commonplace, she lacked TV or radio to hear his plea.

    Explaining through an interpreter why she subjected her daughters to FGM, Aliye, who gave her age as about 50, said of the Muslim community: “They said it was ‘haram’ [forbidden by religion] for a woman to be uncircumcised and would spoil her prayer. This is what they told us and this is why we did it.”

    Told that Obama had condemned the practice, Aliye replied carefully: “He speaks well. I think he will change minds.”

    Aliye’s daughter, 18-year-old Leila Kedir, believes that her mother still endorses the practice, but few here now dare say so publicly for fear of prosecution. Kedir, who was nine when she underwent FGM, blames it for the pain she suffered giving birth to her son Tewekel, now three, and two-year-old daughter Kalid. She said: “It should be stopped because it causes fights between husbands and wives and is destructive to marriage. It’s good that Obama condemned it.”

    A government survey in 2000 found that 98.6% of women in the Afar region had been circumcised, usually by a midwife using a razor blade, the second highest rate in the country. By 2005 the figure had dipped only slightly to 91.6%. Within the clan-dominated social structures, it was believed that FGM was a religious requirement, that girls would be promiscuous and adulterous if not cut or that the clitoris would grow longer to resemble a man, who must not then sleep with another man.

    But in 2007 the UN launched an anti-FGM programme with the support of the Ethiopian government, civil society organisations and educational bodies. By 2013, their studies found, FGM in Afar had dropped to to 39%. More than nine in 10 questionnaire respondents said it should be abandoned.

    Read more at The Guardian »


    Related:
    With Landmark AU Address Obama Concludes Historic Ethiopia Visit
    Barack Obama in Kenya : ‘no excuse’ for treating women as second-class citizens

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    7th Global Ethiopian Diaspora Conference on Health Care & Medical Education

    (Photograph from past conference courtesy of People to People, Inc.)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

    New York (TADIAS) — People to People Inc. (P2P) and the Network of Ethiopian Diaspora Healthcare Professionals has announced that the 7th annual Global Ethiopian Diaspora Conference on Health Care and Medical Education will be held on September 26th, 2015 in Washington, DC Metro Area.

    Key topics that will be highlighted at the upcoming conference include “disaster management and response with special focus on the Ebola epidemic, injury and trauma in the Ethiopian setting, new licensure exam and requirements for medical school graduates and physicians in Ethiopia, diaspora partnership projects as well as abstract and poster presentations on health related topics relevant to Ethiopia,” P2P said in a statement.


    If You Go:
    DATE & TIME:
    Saturday September 26
    7:30 AM to 5:00 PM
    Location: Washington, DC Metro Area
    (Exact location to be announced later)
    More info and update at www.p2pbridge.org

    Related:
    University of Gondar Med School Re-graduates 500 Alumni at 60th Anniversary
    Tadias Interview: Dr. Enawgaw Mehari on Pan-African Health Conference

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    Born HIV Free: Mothers Role in Ethiopia

    Regular antiretroviral treatment coupled with improved diagnosis is helping to reduce the number of babies being born with HIV in Ethiopia. (Photograph: At Modjo health clinic. Credit Gelise McCullough/Unitaid)

    Born HIV Free: Mothers of Wisdom in Ethiopia

    The Guardian

    By Carla Kweifio-Okai in Modjo

    Thursday 18 June 2015

    Modjo, Ethiopia — Abeba sits in the consultation room at Modjo health clinic in central Ethiopia, her seven-month-old daughter, Aster, cooing playfully on her lap.

    Abeba is HIV-positive, and has travelled 20 minutes by bus to collect the antiretroviral treatment she needs. She is part of a programme at the clinic to prevent mother-to-child transmission, which involves a regimen of medications for mothers and babies during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

    Tests so far indicate that Aster has not contracted HIV, much to her mother’s relief. “Now I know my daughter doesn’t have it while I have it, I’m very happy,” says Abeba, who does not want her real name used. “It changes everything for me.”

    Despite global efforts to achieve an AIDS-free generation, in Ethiopia only 24% of pregnant women who are eligible for HIV services receive them. One out of three children born to an HIV-positive mother is infected with the virus.

    Abeba has three other children at home, all sons, who are also HIV-negative. She says she feels blessed that her second youngest son did not contract the virus, since she did not receive treatment while pregnant with him. “I found out I had this four years ago, but I think my son, who is five years old, was born when I was positive but without me knowing,” she says.

    The eldest of Abeba’s sons is 12, and she says she will wait until he is 18 to tell him she has HIV. “I do not mind talking about it, but I want to protect my children. In the village they talk about it like it’s something very severe and something very bad to have,” she says. “But even though I don’t tell people I have it, I do tell them that we are all human beings and there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

    Next to the consultation room where Abeba makes her fortnightly visits, Sisay Dinku offers counselling to HIV-positive women. The 33-year-old learned she had HIV 10 years ago, and has worked at health clinics for the past nine. She says things have changed for people living with HIV in Ethiopia.

    Read more at The Guardian »


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    Engaging the African Diaspora Community in the U.S. Ebola Response

    Ambulance drives through the city of Monrovia, Liberia. (AP photo)

    Press Release

    U.S. Department of State

    The State Department’s Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response Andrew Weber recently spoke, via conference call, with members of the U.S.- African diaspora community to discuss progress in the international Ebola response and the transition to the next phase of U.S. efforts. The call was a fourth in a series of conference calls hosted by the Bureau of Public Affairs with African diaspora members about the international response to the Ebola crisis.

    Mr. Weber opened the call by highlighting important milestones that have been reached in our response to the epidemic. After approximately 10 months since the first U.S. personnel deployed to West Africa to fight Ebola, the vast majority of the U.S. troops assigned to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will return home by April 2015. Having completed their mission, only 100 will remain deployed in West Africa.

    While U.S. troops are coming home, Mr. Weber emphasized that the United States is not leaving West Africa. In keeping with President Obama’s charge that we tackle Ebola as a national security priority, the United States will continue to be a leader in the international response we helped to build to fight the disease at its source. More than 10,000 U.S.-supported civilian responders will remain on the ground in West Africa to fight the disease.

    The transition represents a shift from an emergency military response to a more conventional and sustainable civilian-led effort in concert with our African partners. Mr. Weber outlined the next phase in our Ebola response which will include sustained, targeted involvement as we work to achieve zero cases in West Africa, while building the capacity within the region to prevent, detect and respond to future outbreaks before they become epidemics.

    Expressing their appreciation to the U.S. Government for its leadership in responding to the Ebola crisis and for its continued engagement of the community, diaspora representatives were eager to discuss how the community can continue to assist in this next phase of our Ebola response. Recognizing the current efforts of diaspora groups and the resources that they have devoted to help their communities of origin to end the crisis, Karen Richardson, a representative from the Bureau of Public Affairs who also joined the call, noted the critical role the diaspora has played since the outset of this crisis.

    While we have succeeded in controlling the exponential growth of the disease, getting to zero cases will require a sustained and targeted international response. Mr. Weber underscored that the fight is far from over and that we remain committed to achieving an Ebola-free West Africa.

    About the Author:
    David Duckenfield serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Public Affairs.

    For more information on the ongoing U.S. response to the virus, please visit the State Department’s Ebola Response webpage.

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    Ebola-Hit Nations Aim for No New Cases

    A Liberian school teacher (L) takes the temperature of students arriving for morning lessons at school, as part of the Ebola prevention measures at the BW Harris High School in Monrovia, Feb. 16, 2015. (AP)

    VOA News

    The three West African countries hardest hit by Ebola have set a target of reducing new cases to zero within 60 days.

    Guinea’s presidency said in a statement Monday that the presidents of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia made the pledge after closed-door talks in Conakry.

    The Ebola virus has killed more than 9,000 people in those three countries. Its spread is slowing, but the World Health Organization warned of complacency after a recent uptick in cases.

    In its latest update Monday, the WHO reported 183 new cases in the region — 87 in Sierra Leone, 76 in Liberia and 20 in Guinea.

    In another development, thousands of Liberian children returned to school on Monday after a six-month school closure during the height of the Ebola epidemic.

    Students washed their hands and had their temperatures taken before entering schools. Some schools still remain closed.

    Rosemary Grey, a school principal in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, said it is important to reopen the schools even if there is still a danger from Ebola.

    “If we wait for the day that Ebola will be eradicated before we can reopen schools, I don’t think that we are ever going to open schools, because even now I heard there is a new outbreak,” she said. “Nobody knows how far it’s going to go. And if schools are going to close perpetually, students are going to remain at home.”

    The Ebola virus is transmitted through contact with the body fluids of an infected person. Health officials have warned people to avoid all direct contact with Ebola patients, including those killed by the disease, who remain contagious.

    Related:
    A third of Sierra Leone’s Ebola budget unaccounted for, says report
    Ebola death toll in West Africa reaches 9,253 — WHO
    US Updates African Diaspora on Ebola Response
    Ethiopians arrive in West Africa to fight Ebola
    Ethiopia Holds Farewell Gala for Volunteer Doctors Headed to Ebola-Hit Countries
    Africa Sets Up $28.5m Ebola Crisis Fund
    Don’t Let Ebola Dehumanize Africa
    5,000 Ebola Health Care Workers Needed In West Africa: WHO
    Ethiopia to Deploy 210 Health Workers in Ebola-Hit West Africa
    In first case, Doctor in New York City is Diagnosed With Ebola
    Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola
    Ebola: Africa’s Image Takes a Hit
    U.S. Embassy: No Confirmed or Suspected Cases of Ebola in Ethiopia
    Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic

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    Post-Ebola Plan Needed to Avert “Double Disaster” in West Africa

    Ebola testing at the African Cup of Nations football tournament in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. (Getty Images)

    By Magdalena Mis

    January 27, 2015

    LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The three West African countries worst hit by Ebola risk a “double disaster” unless a multi-million dollar plan is put in place to help their economies recover, Oxfam said on Tuesday.

    In Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone people were struggling to make ends meet having seen their incomes plummet, the aid agency said.

    “The world was late in waking up to the Ebola crisis, there can be no excuses for not helping to put these economies and lives back together,” Mark Goldring, Oxfam’s chief executive, said during a visit to Liberia.

    He said a post-Ebola “Marshall Plan” should address three areas of urgent need: cash for families affected by the crisis, investment in jobs and support for basic services.

    “People need cash in their hands now, they need good jobs to feed their families in the near future and decent health, education and other essential services,” Goldring said.

    Research by Oxfam in three Liberian counties found that three in four families had seen their incomes decline, with an average income drop of 39%.

    Coupled with a loss of income, food prices in Ebola-affected areas have risen. In Liberia, rice prices were 40% above the seasonal average.

    As a result, some adults said they were cutting back on food in order to feed their children. Oxfam said that 60% of people interviewed told them they had not had enough food in the past seven days.

    Liberia and Sierra Leone were two of the fastest growing economies in Africa before the Ebola crisis, but in both countries more than half of the population lived below the poverty line.

    According to World Bank, since the outbreak of the disease nearly 180,000 people have lost their jobs in Sierra Leone, and half of household heads in Liberia were out of work.

    “Failure to help these countries after surviving Ebola will condemn them to a double-disaster,” Goldring said.

    The Ebola outbreak has claimed more than 8,600 lives since it was detected in Guinea in March, the World Health Organisation said last week. It said West Africa’s outbreak is ebbing.

    In the countries directly affected, the virus will result in at least $1.6 billion in lost economic growth this year or over 12% of their combined GDPs, according to the World Bank.

    Oxfam called for an international pledging conference to discuss recovery plans backed by financial support to help rebuild lives and help crisis-affected economies recover.

    Related:
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    Ambassador Samantha Power Briefs African Diaspora On Ebola Crisis Response
    US Updates African Diaspora Communities on Efforts to Fight Ebola
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    Ethiopians arrive in West Africa to fight Ebola
    Ethiopia Holds Farewell Gala for Volunteer Doctors Headed to Ebola-Hit Countries
    Africa Sets Up $28.5m Ebola Crisis Fund
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    U.S. Embassy: No Confirmed or Suspected Cases of Ebola in Ethiopia
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    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ambassador Samantha Power Updates African Diaspora On Ebola Crisis Response

    Man offloads relief supplies for Ebola response in West Africa. (AP photo)

    PRESS RELEASE

    U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs

    The State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs recently hosted a conference call with Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and representatives of African diaspora communities from across the United States to discuss the international response to the Ebola crisis. Officials from USAID, the National Security Council (NSC) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) joined the call, the third in a series hosted by the Bureau of Public Affairs with the African diaspora community. These calls have provided an opportunity for the U.S. government to coordinate effectively with diaspora communities across the United States to combat this epidemic and to connect individuals seeking to volunteer in various capacities with the NGOs working directly in the Ebola-affected communities in West Africa.

    In October 2014, Ambassador Power traveled to Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia to demonstrate U.S. support for these nations, review the response effort and emphasize the need for increased support for the international response. Ambassador Power stressed that, despite the gains seen in Liberia, Ebola remains a major threat and she also warned of the risk of complacency. She also noted that in Sierra Leone, the disease continues to spread at a rapid pace. Some 18,000 people have been reported infected in West Africa and 7,000 people have died. And the economic and social toll of the disease is staggering. The outbreak has caused profound suffering and long-lasting effects on the lives of the people of West Africa.

    Ambassador Power reinforced that the U.S. government understands what it takes to end the epidemic, and that it is a matter of “mobilizing resources and will.” The U.S. response has been the largest to any global health crisis in history. Currently, there are 3,000 U.S. government personnel in the region working to curb the spread of the epidemic. Even with this robust response, the United States alone cannot curb the epidemic’s deadly spread. Other countries have joined the response effort as well, including the United Kingdom which has committed somet 230 million pounds to tackle Ebola.

    Diaspora representatives, grateful for the opportunity to share their views, were eager to ask questions on how their community can assist with responding to the needs of those in affected countries. Thanking the Obama Administration for its response to the crisis, one diaspora representative originally from Sierra Leone asked Ambassador Power to identify how the diaspora can be engaged in Sierra Leone. Prefacing her response to the caller with “we need you,” Ambassador Power underscored the vital role the diaspora can play in education, social motivation and galvanizing the diaspora community to help those in Sierra Leone where behavioral change is slower than in Liberia.

    Ambassador Power emphasized that the diaspora have a critical role to play in carrying messages back to relatives in West Africa and helping with the response. With their sophistication, will, and capabilities, they are uniquely positioned to helping conquer the fears and stigma that the epidemic has generated. Ambassador Power ended the call by urging the diaspora community to continue to put their skills to work in ending this outbreak and to know that they have the support of the U.S. government as they work to eradicate this deadly disease.

    About the Author:
    David Duckenfield serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Public Affairs.

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    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Tigray Region of Ethiopia Focuses on Reducing Trachoma in 2015

    Dr. Amir Bedri Kello, senior consultant for Light For The World, conducts a presentation at the Light For The World country office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (VOA)

    VOA News

    By Kim Lewis

    January 15, 2015 7:51 AM

    The federation of NGOs known as Light for the World is committed to stopping the transmission of the eye disease trachoma in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. The federation’s strategy includes mapping the mountainous region, and teaching people how to apply the SAFE strategy — Surgery; Antibiotics; Facial cleanliness and Environmental change.

    The organization says it has carried out mapping in Ethiopia’s Tigray and Somali regions to collect and analyze data that will help them treat the 4.5 million people who live in places where trachoma is endemic.

    Dr. Amir Bedri Kello, senior consultant for Light for the World, explained that mapping is important in determining the prevalence of trachoma, which in turn allows the SAFE strategy to be applied more effectively.

    “Tigray region is one of the regions that has very high endemicity for trachoma. Almost 4.4 million people in Tigray live in trachoma endemic areas. From the region itself we have a backlog of over 30,000 trachoma– trichiasis cases—this is the late complication of trachoma whereby you have inverted lashes that touch the cornea. It is a painful condition that will eventually lead to blindness unless it is treated by surgical intervention,” explained Dr. Bedri.

    The biggest focus for 2015 is on districts with the highest rates of trachoma and trichiasis.

    “When you have very high trachoma infection rates which are 30% and above, this would require five years of intervention with full WHO recommended SAFE strategy. That would mean for 2015 that we would be doing surgery for delayed complications of trachoma, over 3,500 trachoma surgeries for next year, (2015), and also implementing activities that would promote hygiene and sanitation,” Dr. Bedri pointed out.

    He also emphasized that the biggest challenge of these activities will be behavioral changes towards personal hygiene and sanitation. He said the medical aspect of treating trachoma is readily accepted. However the doctor said when it comes to teaching the importance of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation, efforts are more challenging.

    “It requires a lot of extensive health education, provisional hardware, meaning construction of latrines, water points, but also having to convince the population to change their behavior to better sanitation and hygiene,” said Bedri.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    US Updates African Diaspora on Ebola Response

    Medical supplies from the U.S. delivered in Monrovia, Liberia to assist in the fight against Ebola. (AP Photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    News Update

    Response

    Press Release: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs

    Last month, the State Department’s Bureaus of Public Affairs and African Affairs, in coordination with interagency colleagues, hosted a conference call with Assistant Secretary of African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield and approximately 200 representatives of the African diaspora community from across the United States. Together with officials from USAID, the National Security Council (NSC) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Assistant Secretary of African Affairs, provided an update on the ongoing response to the crisis.

    In December 2014, Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield was part of a U.S. delegation to Liberia, led by Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Lumpkin, to assess the current state of Liberia’s fight against Ebola and U.S. response efforts on the ground. On this call, she reviewed her trip and commended the efforts of U.S. Embassy personnel in Monrovia, who are working around the clock, to support the anti-Ebola effort. She also stressed that the U.S. Government response to Ebola has been a “whole of government” effort.

    In response to questions from call participants, Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield noted that, after several very difficult months, Liberia has made significant gains in the fight against Ebola. She also added that more work remains to be done until Liberia is Ebola-free. To that end, she urged Liberians not to change the practices that have been put in place to ensure the eradication of this disease.

    The Assistant Secretary also remarked that Ebola is a “regional problem,” not a Liberian problem, and one that requires tremendous teamwork and international coordination. In that regard, she described the collaborative efforts of the U.S. embassy, USAID, the CDC, the African Union and Liberians as nothing short of “impressive.”

    Thomas-Greenfield remains engaged in coordination efforts with other U.S. Government agencies and colleagues in the international community around the recovery program in the region, the state of the health sector, and the conditions for improvement in education and infrastructure.

    The U.S. Government continues to stand with Liberia, and knows that this is a situation that they cannot fight alone. Liberia and other Ebola-affected countries need the support of the international community and we are committed to providing that support. President Obama made that very clear when he said that this is a national security crisis, not only for the region, but for the world.

    For more information on the ongoing U.S. response to the virus, please visit the State Department page here.

    About the Author:
    David Duckenfield serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Public Affairs.

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    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Army of Women Educates on Trachoma in Ethiopia

    Mebrit Kasua and one of her children at her home in the Tigray Province of northern Ethiopia. Mebrit is a leader in the health development army of women in the Tigray province of northern Ethiopia. (VOA)

    VOA News

    By Kim Lewis

    January 06, 2015 6:10 AM

    An army of women” in Ethiopia has been recruited to teach friends and neighbors how to prevent trachoma, an eye disease that’s preventable but still very common in many parts of Ethiopia. The confederation of national development NGO’s — Light For The World – has been working to implement national eye health initiatives to prevent trachoma and other eye diseases through the World Health Organization’s initiative “VISION 2020—the right to sight”.

    One major step in preventing trachoma is to educate local communities on the causes and prevention of trachoma.

    Light For the World and its partners train at the local level, through such initiatives as Ethiopia’s “Army of Women.” Mebrit Kasua is a 20-year-old wife, mother of two small children and a leader of the Health Development Army in her community, “an army of women” fighting diseases with medicine and knowledge.

    A Light for the World program officer who helps train the “Army of Women, Kalikidan Ketsela, translated Mebrit’s description of the day’s work in the Tigray region, as a member of the family and a soldier in the Health Development Army.

    “After she wakes up, she directly goes to the cleaning of the latrine, the compound, and the house and the materials. After that she goes with her husband to the field for plowing, for weeding, and for whatever activities. After that she returns back to home…preparing coffee,” explained Ketsela.

    Even after these morning activities, the day is still young for Mebrit. Ketsela added that in addition to preparing meals for the day, Mebrit is a role model for her family and community.

    “Above all, she has a social role. She’s the head of the Women Development Army, so whenever she gets a chance she goes to the people and sees that if there is a pregnant mother, if there is a sick mother, she counsels them and advises them to go to the health posts,” highlighted Ketsela.

    She also pointed out that Mebrit wants to make sure the other mothers understand the importance of keeping the family’s hands and faces clean, as well as the home environment.

    “First, she says that I will focus on the cleaning of the compound and face washing. I will tell them that you have to wash your faces because trachoma comes through flies and if there is a dirty face it will be a good place for trachoma transmission. So, I just tell them to wash their faces and to construct latrines and to use latrines. So this is like the key message for the discussion,” said Ketsela interpreting for Mebrit.

    It is a big responsibility to head the Women’s Development Army for her community, but Mebrit takes her job seriously because she knows she is looked upon as an example.

    “I am the key leader for the 13 householders and I am one of the examples for the other group members and when we have meetings, I just share my experience to the group members and invite them to see what I am doing, and to learn by seeing what I am doing,” Mebrit explained through Ketsela.

    Light For The World and its partners work in Ethiopia and other developing countries where Trachoma is the primary cause of blindness. Light For The World emphasis that acting now to prevent trachoma will help them reach their goal of eradicating the disease worldwide by 2020.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    From Chicago to Ethiopia: Dr. Gelila Goba Improving the State of Women’s Health

    Dr. Gelila Goba is a resident at Northwestern University and is the impetus for a group of physicians setting up an ob/gyn residency program at an Ethiopian hospital. (Chicago Tribune)

    Chicago Tribune

    By Bonnie Miller Rubin

    Dr. Gelila Goba hasn’t forgotten where she came from.

    Instead of joining a comfortable practice in the U.S. after completing her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University, Goba instead will be caring for patients in her native Ethiopia, where in many communities light and heat qualify as luxuries.

    After she graduates in May, Goba plans to move back to Ethiopia to implement a new initiative that she hopes will improve the state of women’s health in the desperately poor country of 90 million.

    “A lot has been given to me,” said Goba, during a break at Prentice Women’s Hospital. “I must make sure that I use those gifts wisely.”

    The Mela Project is a partnership between Northwestern and Mekelle University in Ethiopia. It provides medical education, clinical training and research in sub-Saharan Africa, where acute doctor shortages and women’s health continue to be vexing problems.

    In Ethiopia, the maternal mortality rate is twice the global average, and the rate of death from cervical cancer is almost seven times higher than in the U.S., according to the World Health Organization. The entire country has about 220 OB-GYNs nationwide — roughly the same number as Northwestern Memorial Hospital alone, according to university officials.

    Read more at chicagotribune.com »

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    PM Hailemariam: African Nations Should be More Engaged in Ebola Fight

    British health workers lift a newly admitted Ebola patient onto a wheeled stretcher in to the Kerry town Ebola treatment center outside Freetown, Sierra Leone, Dec. 22, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

    AFP

    Addis Ababa – African nations need to be more engaged in the fight against the Ebola virus and stop relying on aid from Western governments, Ethiopia’s prime minister said Monday.

    Hailemariam Desalegn said the response to the epidemic in west Africa should not be “only for the non-Africans”, urging African states to respond to an African Union appeal to send medical staff to affected areas.

    “We should show that there is a solidarity within the African countries,” he told reporters.

    “Usually the notion is that whenever this kind of epidemic happens, it is the Western countries and other big countries that have to be involved,” he said.

    But he added: “We have to break this and show that Africans also are there for Africans. We should try our best to bring African solutions to African problems.”

    Last week Ethiopia sent 187 health volunteers to Sierra Leone and Liberia, the largest contingent of medical professionals from any African country since the Ebola crisis began. Desalegn said a further 1,000 volunteers were ready to go.

    A number of African states, however, are reluctant to send volunteers, due to either a lack of means or fears they are not equipped to deal with any who return infected with the virus.

    Read more »

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    Africans Give Back: How the U.S. African Diaspora is Fighting Ebola Back Home
    Ethiopians arrive in West Africa to fight Ebola
    Ethiopia Holds Farewell Gala for Volunteer Doctors Headed to Ebola-Hit Countries
    Africa Sets Up $28.5m Ebola Crisis Fund
    Don’t Let Ebola Dehumanize Africa
    5,000 Ebola Health Care Workers Needed In West Africa: WHO
    Ethiopia to Deploy 210 Health Workers in Ebola-Hit West Africa
    In first case, Doctor in New York City is Diagnosed With Ebola
    Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola
    Ebola: Africa’s Image Takes a Hit
    U.S. Embassy: No Confirmed or Suspected Cases of Ebola in Ethiopia
    Ethiopia Launches Ebola Testing Lab to Combat Epidemic

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Africans Give Back: How the U.S. African Diaspora is Fighting Ebola Back Home

    Africa Responds is an online Ebola response initiative launched by TMS Ruge, a U.S.-based entrepreneur from Uganda and Ethiopian-born Solome Lemma, Founder of the NYC-based NGO Africans in the Diaspora.

    The Deseret News National Edition

    By Kimberly Curtis

    The idea came to TMS Ruge one evening in September while at home in New York, skimming Twitter for stories on Ebola. A native of Uganda who grew up in East Africa and the U.S., Ruge was struck that much of the coverage depicted Africans only as victims. Little mention was made of their potential role in wiping out the deadly epidemic.

    As an entrepreneur and communications consultant, Ruge, 38, understands the power of ideas and information. He figured Americans needed to be made more aware that Africans were providing most of the frontline care. He was also determined to do something about it.

    He approached his friend Solome Lemma, an immigrant from Ethiopia who is executive director of Africans in the Diaspora, an organization based in New York that works to connect Africans living in the U.S. to development projects back home.

    Together they launched Africa Responds, an online fundraising initiative that partners with four African-led organizations working in Liberia. In less than two months, their campaign raised nearly $20,000 and significantly raised the profile through social media of African efforts against Ebola.

    Ruge and Lemma are among a new generation of the U.S. African diaspora determined to contribute to the development of their home continent, including the fight against Ebola.

    “We want to insert ourselves into the conversation because the Africans on the ground are the ones really doing the work, but it is the international organizations getting the credit,” said Ruge. “If people are too busy trying to stay alive, they don’t really have the ability to tell their stories. But if we are here to share those stories, it helps in the fight.”

    The U.S Census Bureau estimates that 1.5 million people born in Africa now live in the United States. Another 2 million self-identify with the diaspora because they have dual citizenship or grew up in Africa. Almost half of the diaspora has arrived since 2000, with Liberia and Sierra Leone — two of the countries at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis — making up 20 percent of these recent arrivals.

    Africa Responds and its partners have an advantage in fighting Ebola that most international aid agencies lack: Knowledge of local languages and culture goes a long way in educating people about the disease and convincing them to change daily habits.

    Above all, these groups enjoy Africans’ trust, gained through years of living and working in local communities, many of which are suspicious of outsiders and therefore often bypassed in international aid efforts.

    Read more »

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