By Mahlet Mesganaw, Partner at DMLO
The Ethiopian Public Health Institute has issued a Revised Directive to Provide for the Prevention and Control of the Covid-19 Pandemic Directive No 882/2022(this Directive hereafter). This Directive has repealed the previous directive on prohibited activities and imposed duties for the Prevention and Control of Covid-19 Pandemic No 803/2021. This Directive shall be effective as of April 1,2022. A brief overview of the contents of the Directive shall follow here below.
This Directive has established a task force. The task force shall function at the Federal level. The Directive requires formation of a similar task force at the regional level. The federal task force is chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister. The secretariat of the task force is the Ministry of Health. The task force is composed of 9 Ministries, two commissions, the Press Secretariat of the Prime Minister and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute. The main task of the task force includes providing directions on implementation of periodic guidelines on procedures of various preventive measures considering the prevalence of the disease. The task force also has the objective of promoting and implementing scientifically proven techniques for the prevention of spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The task force is accountable to the Prime Minister.
The implementation of accustomed precautionary measures of wearing face masks, isolation and adequate ventilation and personal hygiene are still there. In addition to these, there are duties imposed on employers. Employers are duty bound to fully vaccinate their employees against Covid-19 where these institutions are service providers like banks, health facilities, hotels, transport providers, law enforcement agencies and other service providers whose employees are susceptible to Covid-19 pandemic.
Any international traveler above the age of 12 coming through international airports of the country and enter Ethiopia shall bring the certificate of negative RT-PCR (Laboratory diagnosis of Covide-19 through molecular techniques) test done 72 hours or three days before departure or Ag-RDT (Antigen based Rapid Diagnostic Test) negative test up to 24 hours before arriving to Ethiopia or a certificate of recovery from Covid-19 within 90 days or evidence that shows he is fully completed the Covid-19 vaccine.
A diplomat who fails to fulfill the requirement of a test or vaccination may enter Ethiopia by being tested at the airport. If the test result is positive or refuses to take the test, he shall isolate himself for 7 days.
For returnees, if they do not have test results or fully vaccinated evidence, then they can enter the country by taking Ag-RDT at the airport. If positive, the normal isolation process shall be implemented.
Meeting or conference organizers are duty bound to ensure that meeting attendees wear face masks, air ventilation is available, and hygienic materials are accessible. Similarly, organizers and competitors of sport events must undergo fully Covid-19 vaccination or obtain a certificate of Ag-RDT negative test result done no more than 24 hours or negative RT PCR test done no more than 72 hours or three days.
The Directive No 882/2022 is a revised version of the previous Directive No 803/2021. The aim of the new Directive is to decrease the economic, social and psychological impact on the community as a result of lessons gathered from the execution of the previous Directive.This Directive basis itself on the current situation of the pandemic given Covid-19 vaccination being available free by the Ethiopian government.
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