Last Minute Conversation of Dr Debretsion
This means that, going forward, the options revolve around effective contact tracing, movement restrictions, and, when required, completely sealing communities or the entire country itself. The strategy of a complete lcokdown of the entire country over an extended period is neither feasible nor would it guarantee success, as already alluded to. What is needed is, therefore, a national strategy that is realistic, inclusive, responsive and costs the country less by way of life and livelihood.
This strategy needs to be a national strategy and supported by the science of infection control and empowers local players for meaningful action. The temptation toward a piecemeal approach developed independently by regions and concocted as a ‘national strategy’ to satisfy the ego of political players should be avoided. It is also obvious that large political units, such as regions, are not best suited because risks, within these regions, are very divergent. Second, it will be too costly for the country to completely seal one of its regions until cases become under control, should infection levels become public health threat in a given location.
Third, risk patterns for some parts of some regions may very well be linked to risks in other regions located next to them. For example, the fortunes and misfortunes of the special of zones of Oromia regional state surrounding to the capital Addis Abeba are intimately linked to COVID-19 related events the capital or the adjacent zones of Amhara regional state than perhaps in other regions of Oromia. The same logic applies to other regions.
Given the fragile health system in the country, a successful containment strategy for Ethiopia would require the creation of sustainable communities from the point of view of public health security, but also one that addresses peoples’ economic, social and governance needs. The idea is to create spatially ‘segregated’ communities constituting ‘homogeneous’ risk group or cluster of communities that are large enough to allow normal life to occur,
but small enough to be monitored, and, if needed, internally quarantined to stop cross community infections. And there are reasons for this. They are easy to manage; large enough to allow sufficient economic activity to take place for a period of time and their impact on the wider country would be minimal should the time come for them to be completely sealed off.