Tigray region deputy president Debretsion Gebremichael (PhD)

Etenesh Abera @EteneshAb

Addis Abeba, April 24/2020 – Tigray Regional State has loosened the regional state of emergency declared, the regional state communication bureau said. Tigray region was the first to declare COVID-19 related state of emergency on March 26/2020. The state council has subsequently set the decree to last for three months.

Under the emergency decree Tigray region has banned all travels within the regional state, social activities such as weddings and other social festivities as well as market gatherings. It also restricted business activities of bars, restaurants, cafes and other small and medium business enterprises.

Tigray region deputy president Debretsion Gebremichael (PhD) is quoted as saying yesterday that the amendment on the emergency decree followed a state-wide door-to-door screening by Tigray region health bureau assisted by healthcare professionals in an attempt to detect early symptoms of the coronavirus. Some 23, 000 healthcare professionals were dispatched to conduct the door-to-door screening which covered some 1.5 million households. Although 33 suspected cases were detected during the door-to-door screening, the test results conducted in the regional state’s COVID-19 laboratory, all the tests returned negative for the virus.

The region has, on April 12/2020, begun implementing a 14-day mandatory quarantine for all arrival at Alula Aba Nega airport as well as vehicle travelers.

The quarantine measures will remain in place but other measures under the emergency decree are relaxed. These include the return to work of civil service officials; the lifting of public travel restrictions within the state; opening up of bars, restaurants and cafes (for take away services) as well as opening up of other small and minimum business enterprises such as consumable distributors including liquor distributors (for take away services from their stokes). However, strict preventative measures should be followed by all the businesses, the regional state said. AS

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