Prevention and Control

Prevention is the most effective method towards COVID-19.

Prevention Methods

Prevention remains the most effective method to control COVID-19.

  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from respiratory infection
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with un washed hands
  • Keep your physical distance
  • Maintain your hand hygiene
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use inside of your flexed arm when you sneeze or cough
  • Cover your nose and mouth with mask
  • Throw used tissues and clothing in the bin or trash can
  • Avoid unprotected contact with farm and wild animals and disinfecting material surfaces should be a regular routine and life style.
  • Practice healthy lifestyle including adequate rest while maintaining a good nutrition as moderate amount of vitamin C, D and E supplement have shown to enhance resistance towards the virus


There is no effective treatment for COVID-19, yet. Most of the treatments currently being given are symptomatic relief and supportive treatments. Complication of the disease such as shock, acute renal injury, acute cardiac injury and nervous system involvement and super infection can be treated as required. 

There are different medications on trial including chloroquine in combination with other antiviral medication. In our country, trial of traditional medicine in combination with modern medicine has been initiated.


Maintain your hand hygiene

  • Know how to and when to wash your hands
    • Always use soap and water
    • Rub your hands for at least 20 seconds
    • Use WHO techniques (see steps) to wash your hands and remember to cover the finger webs, palms, tip of the finger and back of the hands as they are usually overlooked
    • Always wash your hands, especially after you have been to public places, after blowing your nose, before touching your face, after touching contaminated surfaces, after you sneeze or cough, after using restrooms, before preparing or eating food, after having contact with animals and before and after caring for others.

Use hand sanitizers

  • Check the content of the sanitizer and make sure it has at least 60% alcohol
  • Rub your hands the same way as WHO hand washing steps or remember to cover all surfaces of your hand
  • Rub until they feel dry

How does alcohol or soap kill a virus?

Viruses have a cell membrane made up of lipid and protein which holds it together. Due to the lipid content of this membrane, to wash your hands using only water will not remove the virus as it only brushes the surface. Soap on the other hand has two components, a hydrophilic or water loving and hydrophobic water hating or oil loving components. The hydrophilic part will dissolve in the water while the hydrophobic will attach itself to the lipid containing layer of the virus cell membrane and slowly dissolve and disintegrate the virus. This process takes time; at least for 20 seconds. After disintegrating the membrane the virus will be dissolved in the water that can be easily washed off.

How to disinfect or clean surfaces?

  • Use soap and water or diluted bleach to clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces 
  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning/ disinfecting surfaces
  • Clean commonly used surfaces such as toilets, sinks, tables, door knobs, keys, handles, phones, remotes, car doors, sit belts and keyboards
  • Cover electronic surfaces with wipeable covers such as plastics to ease cleaning
  • Leave the solution (detergent or bleach) for one minute on the surface being cleaned
  • If you use alcohol to clean the surface make sure the content of the alcohol is 70%
  • Call the 8335 or 952 toll free line for medical care advices and/or help.

What to do when caring for the sick person

If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 symptoms remember to do the following;

  • keep a separate room for the sick person
  • If possible, provide a proper personal protective equipment such as facemask for the patient or let him/her to cover his/her mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • If possible keep a separate bathroom. But if the bathroom is shared with other members of families, use appropriate methods to clean and disinfect after each use.
  • Use facemask whenever you are around the patient and disposable gloves when handling the patient
  • Use separate utensils for food and wash it with hot water and soap using gloves
  • Separate a trash can for disposing contaminated materials such as used gloves, facemask, leftovers, tissues and etc.
  • Strictly practice preventive actions
  • Avoid sharing personal items, and clean or disinfect surfaces


Most of the people who contract COVID-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their body. Contracting the SARS CoV-2 does not mean you will have it for life.

Most of the symptoms will resolve within a period of 10 days. Patients will test positive for Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 2 to 4 days of the onset of the illness while radiological evidence might take up to 7 days to appear. Viral clearance takes longer duration than symptomatic relieve. Patients who received intensive care also show delayed viral clearance when compared to others. Thus, patients are expected to test negative with median duration of 11 days while radiologic clearance will be evident on the 14th day of being symptomatic.

Further studies are required to establish when a patient is said to be cured of COVID-19. Due to reports of SARS CoV-2 patients testing positive after discharge, new protocol has been practiced for discharging a patient in our country. The patients are kept under home based quarantine for fourteen days after being discharged from treatment center for follow up.

Isolation & Quarantine

  • Contact tracing, quarantine and isolation are main steps taken in controlling a pandemic of COVID-19. 

    Contact is a healthy person not showing sign and symptoms of the disease who may have been exposed to the virus. He/she might have a chance of being infected within 14 days period. People are said to be in close contact with the patient when he/she provide direct care for the patient without using proper personal protective equipments or have been in closed and contaminated environment. A person with contact history to the patient will be followed for the duration of incubation period which is 14 days from time of exposure. (Download the “DEBO” app for registering your contacts)

    Quarantine is putting restriction to personal activities for persons that are not ill but have been exposed to infection with the objective of monitoring symptoms to detect and contain the spread of infection early.

    Isolation is separation of symptomatic person from others to prevent spread of infection or contamination. 

What a quarantine person or a contact person should know?

  • Being quarantined or having a contact history doesn’t mean the person is indefinitely going to be sick
  • Quarantine or contact tracing is a procedure taken for the sake of oneself and his/her loved ones
  • He/she should be prepared psychologically if he/she develops a symptoms
  • Practice preventive mechanism regularly per recommendation
  • When having symptoms, call 8335, 952 or designated regional toll free lines or call the nearby health facility
  • Use facemask as needed
  • Avoid contact with others especially those that are prone to severe symptoms
  • Providing correct information for contact tracing and follow up team is essential for oneself and his/her loved ones care
  • Monitor any development of signs and symptoms
  • Call 8335 or 952 for further information


  • Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), Addis Ababa
  • Swaziland street, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Tel.: 0118276796
  • Mail :
  • Post: 1242

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