Modi assures drugs, economic aid to virus-hit Ethiopia

In line with India’s continued engagement and support to Africa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured immediate supply of medicines and economic aid to Ethiopia as it combats the COVID-19 pandemic during a phone conversation with his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed Ali.India stands in solidarity “with our friends in Ethiopia and other African countries, and will be a reliable partner to provide essential medical supplies as well as other assistance to handle the crisis,” Mr Modi said.

PM Modi recalled the close ties between the two countries and wished the people of Ethiopia could defeat the virus soon, the government said in a statement on May 7. The two leaders also discussed the domestic, regional, and global challenges posed by the pandemic.

India has extended emergency medical aid to nearly two dozen African countries after the virus began to gain a foothold in the continent in mid-March, which until then had remained restrained compared to other nations in Asia and Europe, and the US.Some 20 African countries, including Egypt, Uganda, and South Africa have received Hydroxychloroquine and Paracetamol drugs from India. Almost all countries in the African continent, except some like Comoros and Lesotho, have not been affected so far. According to a study conducted by the African Union, the continent has witnessed a 43% jump in the number of COVID-19 cases since April 15, 2020. Also, in the same period, there has been a 38% increase in the number of deaths.

As of April 21, 2020, Africa reported 15,394 confirmed cases with 716 deaths across 45 countries, according to the study. The worst affected countries are South Africa, Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Guinea. They account for 66% of the cases reported in Africa.

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