COVID-19 pandemic in Eritrea

Last updated

COVID-19 pandemic in Eritrea
Disease COVID-19
Virus strain SARS-CoV-2
Location Eritrea
First outbreak Wuhan, Hubei, China
Index case Asmara
Arrival date21 March 2020
Confirmed cases7,358 [1] (updated 1 Dec 2021)
Deaths
60 [1] (updated 1 Dec 2021)

The COVID-19 pandemic in Eritrea is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have reached Eritrea on 21 March 2020. The government introduced strict social distancing measures by end of March 2020 which was enforced until April 2021. In April 2021 the government relaxed the lockdown and restrictions and opened up schools, resumed commercial flights and public transportation. Wearing mask and social distancing guidelines are still in place. At the time of this writing there were a total of 6224 confirmed cases with 5800 recovering fully and 24 fatalities.

Contents

Background

On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019. [2] [3]

The case fatality rate for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003, [4] [5] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll. [6] [4]

Timeline

March 2020

On 21 March, the first case in Eritrea was confirmed in Asmara; the index case was an Eritrean national arriving from Norway. [7] [8] [9]

There were 15 confirmed cases in March. All 15 remained active at the end of the month.

April 2020

Eritrea announced a 21-day lockdown beginning April 2. [9] That lockdown was subsequently extended further. [9]

On 9 April, Eritrea recorded two new cases, two Eritreans aged 30 and 62, both of whom had returned to the country before the flight ban, thus bringing the country's total infections to 33. [10]

The total number of confirmed cases reached 39 in April, 24 more than in March. 26 of the 39 patients recovered in April, leaving 13 active cases at the end of the month. [11]

May 2020

On 15 May, the Eritrean Health Ministry confirmed that the 39th and final case of COVID-19 in the country had fully recovered. [12] For the rest of the month there were no active cases.

June 2020

On 13 June, a further 31 positive cases were confirmed, 30 of whom had returned from Sudan, and one from Ethiopia. [13] During the month there were 164 positive cases, raising the total number of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak to 203. 53 patients recovered in June, leaving 150 active cases at the end of the month. [14]

July 2020

In July there were 76 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 279. The number of recovered patients grew by 172 to 225, leaving 54 active cases at the end of the month (64% fewer than at the end of June). [15]

August 2020

In August there were 39 new confirmed cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 318. The number of recovered patients increased by 59 to 284, leaving 34 active cases at the end of the month (a decrease by 37% from the end of July). [16]

September 2020

There were 57 new cases in September, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 375. The number of recovered patients increased by 57 to 341, leaving the same number of active cases as at the end of August. [17]

October 2020

There were 88 new cases in October, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 463. The number of recovered patients increased by 71 to 412, leaving 51 active cases at the end of the month, an increase of 50% from August and September. [18]

November 2020

There were 114 new cases in November, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 577. The number of recovered patients increased by 86 to 498, leaving 79 active cases at the end of the month. [19]

December 2020

The country announced its first COVID-19-related death on 22 December, [20] followed by two more deaths on 31 December. The number of confirmed cases more than doubled to 1320. The number of recovered patients increased to 676, leaving 641 active cases at the end of the month. [21]

January 2021

There were 815 new cases in January, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 2135. The death toll rose to 7. The number of recovered patients increased to 1594, leaving 534 active cases at the end of the month. [22]

February 2021

There were 712 new cases in February, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 2847. The death toll remained unchanged. The number of recovered patients increased to 2253, leaving 587 active cases at the end of the month. [23]

March 2021

There were 438 new cases in March, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 3285. The death toll rose to 10. The number of recovered patients increased to 3029, leaving 246 active cases at the end of the month. [24]

April 2021

There were 388 new cases in April, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 3673. The death toll rose to 12. The number of recovered patients increased to 3496, leaving 165 active cases at the end of the month. [25]

May 2021

There were 421 new cases in May, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 4094. The death toll rose to 14. The number of recovered patients increased to 3853, leaving 227 active cases at the end of the month. [26]

June 2021

There were 1015 new cases in June, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 6009. The death toll rose to 23. The number of recovered patients increased to 5512, leaving 474 active cases at the end of the month. [27]

July 2021

There were 538 new cases in July, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 6547. The death toll rose to 35. The number of recovered patients increased to 6444, leaving 68 active cases at the end of the month. [28]

August 2021

There were 95 new cases in August, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 6642. The death toll rose to 38. The number of recovered patients increased to 6590, leaving 14 active cases at the end of the month. [29]

September 2021

There were 80 new cases in September, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 6722. The death toll rose to 42. The number of recovered patients increased to 6635, leaving 45 active cases at the end of the month. [30]

October 2021

There were 112 new cases in October, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 6834. The death toll rose to 45. The number of recovered patients increased to 6732, leaving 57 active cases at the end of the month. [31]

November 2021

There were 524 new cases in November, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 7358. The death toll rose to 60. The number of recovered patients increased to 7096, leaving 202 active cases at the end of the month. [32]

Statistics

Confirmed new cases per day

Confirmed deaths per day

Preventive measures

As a precautionary measure, the government has urged people not to travel to or from the country, and as of 11 March 2020, was quarantining any incoming travellers who have recently been in Iran, Italy, China, or South Korea. [33] [9]

The government put in guidelines forbidding overcharging on goods during the lockdown. [9] Enforcement of these measured has been reported in jurisdictions like Massawa. [9]

As the pandemic became more serious, the government decreed a nationwide lockdown, banning on all non-essential local and international flights. During the international travel ban, returning Eritreans are subject to mandatory quarantine; as of June 16, 2020 there were 3,405 people still in quarantine across 47 quarantine centers in the country. [34]

Diaspora response

Diaspora communities have been sending large volumes of money to support relief efforts in the country. [9] For example, Eritrean Americans have sent at least US$4 million, according to the US embassy in Eritrea. [9]

See also

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