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- 97.9 Public Health
- 78.7 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 Jan 1.)
Public Health Directives
Ethiopia has a very strong public health score, scoring high across most categories, although it has very limited testing and minimal emergency healthcare spending.
- 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 15.7
- Contact tracing 2
Despite a relatively low case rate, Ethiopia still provided moderate financial support to those affected by COVID-19 through a stimulus package.
- 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 Jan 1
Having experienced a brief uptick in cases in September, Ethiopia has managed to bring its case and death rate down to relatively low levels
- Total deaths 1,937
- Death rate per 100K 16.8
- Total cases 124,652
- Cases per 100K 1,084
- Percent of positive tests 7.6
- Change in positivity rates -2.1
|1||Jun 19||Relax quarantine rules for foreign visitors||1.44|
|2||Jul 08||Ethiopian Air starts flying again||1.15|
|3||Oct 20||Government announces 30 percent of schools will reopen||5.93|
- Domestic conflict hampering Ethiopia'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 one of Africa's hardest-hit countries. Read More
- UN fears that unrest in Ethiopia's Tigray region is fuelling community transmission: As domestic conflict displaces residents and leads to the collapse of health services, the UN fears that COVID-19 transmission is running rampant among the displaced populations. Read More
- Cases rise, tech investment does too: Ethiopia's government partnered with Chinese company BGI Health Ethiopia to produce test kits, ventilators, intensive care beds and progress vaccine research. Ethiopia is the 3rd highest African country in terms of tests. 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
- Development bank aid boosts capacity: In July, Ethiopia received a $165.08 million grant from the African Development Bank to support its health response and ease economic impacts. The government plans to increase testing laboratories and train 45,000 new healthcare workers. Read More
Compared with Other African Countries
Per 1M 410
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 335
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 1,681
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.
54.9South Africa 1,073,887
Per 1M 28,887
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