UNICEF Ethiopia COVID-19 Situation Report No. 17: 16-31 August 2020

  • The safe re-opening of schools, which is planned in late September, is a key priority for the Government of Ethiopia, as well as for its children . UNICEF is providing technical and financial support to the Ministry of Education (MoE) alongside other partners for the safe reopening of schools. Guidelines have been drafted focusing on four pillars: (1) safe school operation; (2) teachers and school leadership; (3) psychosocial support; and (4) communication and advocacy.
    These guidelines have considered global school re-opening frameworks and guides including those developed by UN agencies including UNICEF.
  • Preliminary results of the ongoing Community-Based Action and Testing campaign (ComBAT) indicate that cases are increasingly being detected, particularly at the regional level while community fatigue and complacency in observing physical distancing and handwashing prevention strategies is being reported.
  • As part of its COVID-19 nutrition response, UNICEF has provided treatment for 43,060 severely malnourished children including 2,178 refugee children. ▪ A total of 2,168,338 people including 32,000 refugees, have received critical WASH and hygiene materials such as soap to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Epidemiological Overview

As of 31 August, Ethiopia had 52,131 confirmed COVID-19 cases, representing an increase of approximately 80 per cent over the 28,894 cases reported in the No.16 COVID-19 Situation Report published on 15 August.

The national rate of positive cases is 6.8 per cent as per the data released on 30 August in the Ethiopian Public Health Institute’s (EPHI) COVID-19 Daily Sitrep No. 215, which covers the data of 30 August. A total of 910,293 samples had been tested as of 31 August. The number of tests conducted per day varies but has continued to show an increasing trend compared to the previous reporting period. The ComBAT campaign has significantly increased the number of tests conducted per day as well as the subsequent number of positive cases detected.

As of 31 August, 18,994 people had recovered. The national recovery rate is 36 per cent as reported in the EPHI COVID19 Daily Sitrep No.215 for 30 August. In addition, as of 31 August, a total of 809 deaths had been reported. The total COVID-19 related deaths include four children under the age of five and another four children aged between 5 and 14 years. According to EPHI’s 30 August Sitrep No.215, the fatality rate is 1.6 per cent, indicative that the health authorities are still responding well in comparison with global trends. However, as of 31 August, 344 people were in critical condition.

In addition, as of 30 August, 5,093 people were in mandatory quarantine at designated hotels and selected sites in the country (298 in Addis Ababa hotels, 192 at the Addis Ababa University and 4,603 across the regions) while 20,571 people had completed the 14 days follow-up and had been discharged. Since the start of the Home-Based Isolation and Care (HBIC) management system of asymptomatic and mild cases in mid-July, 7,588 COVID-19 confirmed cases had been followed-up through the HBIC system as of 30 August.

As of 20 August, 491 children under the age of five had been infected by the coronavirus, with the majority from Addis Ababa and Oromia Region. Girls were 226 or 46 per cent of the total with the remainder being boys. In terms of sources of infection, community-based transmissions are the most frequent means by which the children have been infected, accounting for 234 cases or 48 per cent. Infections through positive contacts accounted for 214 cases or 43 per cent.

Additional data as of 31 August indicates that children aged below one year represent one per cent of the total cases; children under the age of five years represent two per cent of the cases; and children aged 5 -14 represent four per cent of the total cases.3 The ComBAT campaign4 was launched nationwide at the beginning of August. The campaign targeted 295,768 tests with approximately 21,000 tests to be conducted daily at national level. Data from 3 – 31 August shows that national average tests per day were 16,255 while the total number of tests conducted was 471,396, leading to the detection of 33,409 positive COVID-19 cases. ComBAT has shown that with such a comprehensive approach, it is possible to do more tests and detect more cases. The number of positive cases detected per day has increased by two-to-threefold compared to the pre-CoMBAT period. With increased testing, a higher number of confirmed cases were reported particularly at the regional level. The peak in COVID-19 numbers still remains uncertain.


Source: Ethiopia Humanitarian Country Team