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First Case of COVID-19 Found in One of Ethiopia’s Largest Refugee Camps

Tens of thousands of refugees from Eritrea are at risk of contracting the coronavirus. Experts and humanitarian workers say conditions in four northern camps holding approximately 100,000 Eritrean refugees are ideal for the virus to spread with people living close to each other in confined spaces. Authorities in Ethiopia are racing to improve health facilities and water levels at the country’s 26 refugee camps after the government confirmed that a 16-year-old girl from Eritrea had tested positive for the coronavirus last week. The patient has since been transferred to a government hospital where she is in stable condition, said Ann Encontre, country representative for the U.N. refugee agency in Ethiopia. The girl lives in the Adi-Harush camp, which houses about 33,000 people. Samples from two more suspected cases from the camp, located in the Tigray region, are currently under examination at a government laboratory.