Ethiopia to start face mask wearing campaign amid waning COVID-19 precautions: ministry

ADDIS ABABA, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia will launch a face mask wearing campaign in the first weeks of 2021 as part of renewed anti-COVID-19 efforts, the Ethiopia Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) announced on Monday.

FMoH said the face mask wearing campaign is aimed at reviving the waning habit of wearing face masks in public.

The ministry said with educational institutions recently starting classes after an eight-month break, the face mask wearing campaign will be carried out to stem any possible significant rise of COVID-19 cases in schools and universities.

Ethiopia confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 13.

The east African nation confirmed its first COVID-19 related death on April 15.

Ethiopia has as of Monday morning recorded 122,864 COVID-19 cases and 1,909 COVID-19 related deaths.

Ethiopia is the fifth-most COVID-19 affected country in the African continent, after South Africa, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia.

Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on April 8 to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. It loosened the preventive measures in early October as the state of emergency rule expired.

A week after Ethiopia announced the first case of COVID-19 on March 8, the country introduced stringent measures that included closing schools, limiting religious gatherings, postponing large gatherings and sporting events, as well as punishing businesses for unnecessarily price-hike on consumer goods so as to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Ethiopian government is recently advising the public to adhere to the recommended safety measures so as to contain the possible second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.

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