The Ministry of Health passed its recommendation today, September 18, 2020, stating holding the disputed national election is now possible despite further increased COVID-19 cases in the country.
Health Minister Lia Taddesse, in her report to the House of People Representatives, stated that as long as recommended COVID-19 precautions and guidelines are strictly followed, holding an election within the pandemic is possible. She added that the government’s improved capacity to prevent or stop the pandemic’s spread could make it likely to hold the election within months.
The House in June 2020 voted to extend the term of federal and regional parliaments until the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a public health threat to the country.
The bill that extended the election also determined that the election should take place within six to nine months after the Ministry of Health passes its recommendation on the possibility of holding the election.
The health minister also made other suggestions regarding schools, meetings, cinemas, theaters, sporting events, social and religious festivals, public holidays, stating that it would be possible to allow public gatherings with putting a limitation and implementing COVID-19 prevention measures in compliance with World Health Organization standards.
Ethiopia has so far reported 1,165,000 tests, 66,224 infections, and 1045 deaths from the global pandemic novel coronavirus.