Eritrean president likens coronavirus to ‘sudden war’ of historic dimension

sky news africa Eritrean president likens coronavirus to 'sudden war' of historic dimension


April 18, 2020: Eritrea president likens COVID-19 to sudden war

Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki has delivered his first public address on the coronavirus pandemic since the country recorded index case on March 21.

In a message broadcast via public broadcasters, Eri-TV and Radio Dimtsi Hafash, he likened the COVID-19 pandemic to a sudden war that the world least expected and was thus not fully prepared for.

“President Isaias noted that the global threat posed by the pandemic (COVID-19) is analogous to a sudden war, without any parallel in our contemporary times, that has been declared without any warning or prediction by all standards,” Minister of Information posted on Twitter.

He added that in spite of the grave danger that COVID-19 poses, Eritreans home and abroad have to ensure that it does not overwhelm or paralyze them and derail the development programmes embarked on.

He said it was important to combine existing developmental programs with the current combat against the pandemic. He tasked citizens to do all it takes to surmount the current and existing challenges.

As of April 18, the Eritrea COVID-19 situation report had 35 confirmed cases, all currently under treatment – meaning the country had not recorded any recovery or death. A lockdown was imposed weeks back by the COVID-19 Task Force with periodic regulations being issued by the Health Ministry through the information ministry website.

April 14, 2020: Eritrea cases reach 34, diaspora contributions pouring in

Eritrea coronavirus statistics as of April 14 stood at 34, no death and no recoveries have so far been announced meaning all 34 patients were under treatment. The last time an increase was recorded being April 10.

The country continues to celebrate the financial commitment and contributions of its diaspora in supporting government efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information Minister and main source of COVID-19 developments, Yemane Meskel, on April 9 posted the efforts of the diaspora on Twitter.

He wrote: “#Eritrea: Financial contributions to bolster GOE measures on COVID-19 continue to flow from individuals, firms/ commercial enterprises in the country & our communities in the Diaspora…Eloquent and veritable testimony that the nation is marching in lock-step in these hard times!”

As of today, an independent online outlet which is pro-government reported that the latest round of contributions by Eritreans in western United States reached $453,000. Tesfanews quoted a total donation since March 26 as nearing $4 million.

The Horn of Africa country is currently in a lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the virus. Eritrea is among the countries with a low COVID-19 tally in the region as compared to Ethiopia’s 82, Kenya’s 208, Djibouti’s 298 and Somalia’s 60 – all stats valid as of April 14 midday EAT.


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