Ethiopia has taken tough measures against businesses which allegedly hiked the prices of food and other basic commodities amidst the coronavirus pandemic.Melaku Alebel, Minister of Trade and Industry said in a briefing on Monday that the measures range from the forced closure of businesses to warnings.
“The ministry sealed 13,350 businesses for unfairly taking advantage of the outbreak of the virus, while suspending licenses of 404 entities,” Melaku said.
It also revoked the licenses of 890 businesses and issued warning letters to more than 10,000 individuals involved in trade frauds”, the minister stated.
Melaku indicated that 420 individuals have been arrested in connection with the practice of illegal trading activities.
According to the ministry, the government is currently working to enhance supply chain and substitute imports with local products.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia has reported one new case of the coronavirus (COVID-19), out of the 943 samples taken over the past 24 hours.
A 45-year-old British national of Ethiopian origin tested positive for the virus, said the ministry in a statement on Monday.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 124.