“The factory will also provide commercial laboratory services for a total of 3 million transit passengers at Bole International Airport and in Addis Ababa city,” the prime minister stated, adding this will boost the testing capacity of Ethiopia and other African countries.
“After the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the manufacturing center will switch to the production of other types of nucleic acid detection reagents, such as AIDS testing kits, tuberculosis nucleic acid test kits, and other locally needed RT PCR test kit products,” Abiy said.
Abiy also announced that Ethiopian researchers have been working to develop a vaccine, which is now entering a laboratory trial stage.
The local production of the testing kits will have a “huge impact” in boosting Ethiopia's ability to combat the disease, Yared Agidew, head of Ethiopia’s main COVID-19 treatment center in the capital, Addis Ababa, told The Associated Press.
“By conducting more tests, we will be able to identify positive cases in the community and take appropriate measures to control the spread,” he said.
Ethiopia’s Health Minister Lia Tadesse said community transmissions are the main cause of the increasing cases.
“It is mostly related to how communities are behaving and the existence of other risk facts like living in congested settings,” she said. Ethiopian migrants returning from Middle Eastern countries are not seen as a cause of the rising numbers of cases, she said, explaining that all returnees must go through a quarantine period.