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- 41.4 Public Health
- 34.4 Financial
- 100 Fact-Based
Despite having relatively weak pre-pandemic capacity, swift action and prevention-based messaging from the government helped mitigate spread early on in the crisis.
With the highest infant mortality rate, lowest GDP per capita, and lowest availability of hospital beds in the Index, Ethiopia’s pre-pandemic capacity was very weak.
- Debt/GDP ratio 61%
- GDP/capita $2,702
- Gini coefficient (out of 100) 35
- Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 39
- Healthcare access score (out of 100) 44.2
- Hospital beds/1,000 People 1.5
Government ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)
Public Health Directives
Ethiopia scores near the median on public health policy, with loosened restrictions and weaker testing policy driving its score down substantially in the past few months.
- Stay at home order 0
- Public gathering restrictions 3
- School closings 1
- Public event cancellations 1
- Testing policy 1
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $1.42
- Travel restrictions 2
- Tests/1,000 people 19.4
- Contact tracing 1
Despite a relatively low case rate, Ethiopia provided moderate financial support to those affected by COVID-19, although its stimulus package was relatively weak.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 3.5%
- Income support 0
- Debt forebearance 0
Ethiopia’s health minister has held regular press briefings, providing fact- and science-based communication to the public with an emphasis on infection prevention.
- Reliance on science/fact based information 0
- Press freedom 0
COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15
After a brief uptick in cases in the fall, Ethiopia has managed to keep its case and death rates at relatively low levels throughout the winter, but its positivity rate increased substantially.
- Total deaths 1,355
- Death rate per 100K 11.8
- Total cases 176,618
- Cases per 100K 16
- Percent of positive tests 19.5
- Change in positivity rates +11.9
|Relax quarantine rules for foreign visitors
|Ethiopian Air starts flying again
|Government announces 30 percent of schools will reopen
- Ethiopia receives first batch of vaccine deliveries through airline deal with China: On March 7, 2021, Ethiopia received 2.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing initiative. Read More
- Ethiopian Airlines signs partnership deal with Alibaba Group to deliver vaccines: Ethiopian Airlines signs on as one of many distributors for China's "Health Silk Road," a comprehensive supply chain that maintains temperature controls from the point of distribution through destination arrivals across Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Read More
- Domestic conflict hampering Ethiopia and Sudan's COVID-19 response: Armed conflict between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front in the northern Tigray region has displaced nearly one million people. Refugees from the Tigray conflict are sheltering in crowded camps in remote areas without access to masks, COVID-19 testing, or proper medical treatment, further exacerbating the pandemic in Sudan, one of Africa's hardest-hit countries. Read More
- Migrant laborers forced to return home may be fueling outbreak: Over 30,000 migrant laborers have been forced to return home from Middle Eastern and north African countries, with lack of sanitation in migrant camps increasing the risk of coronavirus spread. Read More
- Public focus on prevention: Ethiopia's large informal sector likely factored into the decision not to impose a harsh lockdown. Instead, the government has focused on prevention and clear messaging around the importance of hygiene and social distancing. Read More
- Community healthcare has been key: The government has invested in community healthcare, to great effect. Health workers have screened an estimated 40 million people with temperature checks. The authorities have additionally created 15,000 beds in isolation centers. Read More
Compared with Other African Countries
Per 1M 148
Senegal’s COVID-19 policy response has been very strong across the board, buoyed by strong public health directives and a reliance on science and facts.
Per 1M 217
Ghana scores strongly on the Index, due primarily to its proactive public health policy, strong examples set by leadership, and reliance on facts; while consistently strong, it does have very weak testing, limited emergency healthcare spending, and a weak stimulus.
Per 1M 686
Kenya has a strong overall policy score, although down significantly from January. However, it is consistently scoring well in all areas, particularly its reliance with respect to facts and science on COVID-19.
71.5South Africa 1,530,033
Per 1M 1,190
Overall, South Africa's score is relatively strong with vigorous policy implementation—particularly with respect to lockdowns—offset by its relatively meager financial response.
Further Reading From Foreign Policy
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Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:
- Debt to GDP ratio
- Infant mortality rates
- Hospital beds per 1,000 people
- Gini coefficients measuring inequality
- Health access and quality
COVID-19 Public Health Directives:
- Stay-at home orders
- School-closing policy
- Public-gathering restrictions
- Cancellation of public events
- Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
- Emergency healthcare spending per capita
- Travel restrictions
- Contact tracing
COVID-19 Financial Response:
- Stimulus package as a share of GDP
- Income support
- Instances of misinformation by leadership
- Limitations on press freedom, censorship
Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:
- Death rates per 1 million
- Case rates per 1 million