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Minister: Ethiopia needs at least one-hundred and thirty million face masks

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Health facilities in Ethiopia could face a shortage of medical face masks unless urgent measures are taken, a senior official has warned.

In a briefing on Tuesday, 2 June 2020 Health Minister Lia Tadesse said the country will require at least one-hundred and thirty million medical face masks over the next four months.

The number of face masks available in the country at the start of the outbreak in mid-March was only four million, she recalled.

However, following the efforts made after the outbreak, more than seven million face masks were distributed to health facilities, according to her.

In addition to importing medical supplies and receiving donations from various sources, joint efforts are underway with relevant ministries to manufacture face masks locally according to the required standards of quality.

She further said the country has now made two-hundred and twenty-one ventilators availabl3 as well as distributed more than three-thousand six-hundred oxygen cylinders across the country to fight the pandemic.

Dr. Lia further said broad efforts are underway to scale up testing capacity following the significant increase in the spread of the virus across the country, especially within the past three weeks.

The country saw a 310 percent spike in COVID-19 cases during the past couple of weeks.

The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has reached one-thousand three-hundred and fourty-four in Ethiopia with two-hundred and thirty-one recoveries and fourteen deaths so far.


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