Home News Ethiopia jailing people for up to 2 years for not wearing masks...

Ethiopia jailing people for up to 2 years for not wearing masks in public

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia can jail people for up to two years if they deliberately violate restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, the attorney general’s office said, amid concern that citizens are becoming lax after a state of emergency was lifted.

The restrictions prohibit shaking hands, not wearing a mask in a public place, seating more than three people at a table or not keeping “two adult steps” – around six feet – apart.

“Now it is as if COVID is no longer there, the public is not taking care,” Health Minister Lia Tadesse tweeted on Thursday. “This will cause a possible increase in the spread of the disease and might be a threat to the nation.”

Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation and a regional powerhouse declared a state of emergency in April to curb the spread of the pandemic. It was lifted in September.

The health ministry has recorded 91,118 COVID-19 cases, 1,384 deaths and 44,506 recoveries so far.

The disease peaked there toward the end of August, but its difficult to know the true picture because testing has been also scaled back due to limited resources. At least 79 people died of COVID-19 in the past week, the health ministry said, but less than 2 percent of deaths are formally recorded.

The new law permits fines and imprisonment for up to two years for anyone breaks the restrictions, the attorney general’s office said in a statement on its Facebook page on Wednesday.

Ethiopia also postponed its regional and parliamentary elections scheduled for August due to the outbreak. They are expected to be held next year.

Africa has mostly not seen the huge wave of infections and deaths that have swept across Europe and the Americas. Experts say a much younger population, immediate measures to contain the virus and having a more rural population have all helped keep cases down.

But many African leaders are urging vigilance, concerned that any surge in cases could overwhelm rickety public health systems.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Valencia 0-1 Atletico Madrid: Toni Lato own-goal lifts Diego Simeone's men top of La Liga

Valencia 0-1 Atletico Madrid: Toni Lato own-goal lifts Diego Simeone's men...

Derby 1-1 Wycombe: Matt Bloomfield scores equaliser to deny Wayne Rooney's side victory

Wayne Rooney was denied a winning start to management as Wycombe’s late equaliser left Derby rooted to the bottom of the Championship.A Derby...

Tony Hsieh, retired Zappos CEO, dead at 46

Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos.com, has died. He was 46. He passed away Friday in Connecticut, according to a...

Laura Hamilton health: 'It's awful' A Place in the Sun host has IBS – the symptoms

Laura Hamilton, known for her property expertise on the Channel 4 show, has been open about her IBS which she admitted “eased up”...

Recent Comments