ADDIS ABABA, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The Eritrea Ministry of Information (MoI) announced on Thursday a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Red Sea nation.
On Wednesday, Eritrea announced three more confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 18.
"All citizens are compelled to stay at home for 21 days starting from Thursday.
"This directive will not apply to those engaged in indispensable developmental and security tasks," said the statement from the Eritrea Ministry of Information.
The MoI further said members of each household, not exceeding two at a time, are allowed to go out from their homes to buy essential food items during the day time.
The conditional permission also holds for emergency medical treatment.
However, the statement said all trading activities and transactions will be banned during the period.
"Similarly, weekly markets that occur in various parts of the country will remain closed," further said the MoI statement.
Eritrea confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 21.
The nation has previously implemented a ban on all commercial passenger flights to and from the country due to concerns related to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.