Ethiopia begins airport screening against China virus

Death toll rises day by day, World Health Organization says early to declare virus global emergency

Addis Getachew   | 24.01.2020
Ethiopia begins airport screening against China virus


Ethiopia began screening at an Addis Ababa airport to curb the import of fatal China virus.  

The announcement came in a statement by the Ethiopian Public Health Institute on Friday, the local broadcaster FANA reported. 

One of the largest and most profitable airlines in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines has flights to and from countries that report coronavirus infections. 

The announcement came just ahead of a major summit of heads of state and government of the African Union to be held early February in Addis Ababa, a cosmopolitan city where a number of major regional and international organizations have their headquarters, including the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) held a meeting on the virus in Geneva on Thursday. However, it did not declare the outbreak an international emergency. 

The screening is being carried out at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport upon a recommendation by the WHO, FANA quoted the statement as saying. 

An awareness-raising demonstration is being given to outbound travelers too, it said.

Since January, at least 26 people have died in the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China, with most cases recorded in the central Hubei province. Chinese officials confirmed that the virus has infected 881 people so far.

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