ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 39,033 after 1,368 new COVID-19 positive cases were confirmed on Saturday, the country’s Ministry of Health said.
The ministry said in a statement that 25 more patients succumbed to illnesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the East African country to 662.
According to the ministry, some 14,480 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had recovered, including 567 in the last 24-hour period.
The ministry also said that a total of 23,889 COVID-19 patients are still undergoing medical treatment, including 251 in severe condition.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation with about 107 million people, has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the East Africa region.
The country, however, has a far lower number of recoveries as compared to Kenya, the region’s second-most affected country.
Kenya has a total number of 18,453 recoveries so far, according to Mutahi Kagwe, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for health. The number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 32,118 on Saturday, after 355 people tested positive to the disease.
Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa is currently the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic accounting for about 70 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the ministry. Ethiopia confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 13.
The East African country has so far conducted 736,904 COVID-19 medical tests, including 19,776 medical tests during the last 24-hour period, according to the ministry.
Amid the rapid spread of the virus in recent weeks, the government is intensifying its mass COVID-19 testing campaign.
The Ethiopian government is mobilizing resources to ensure there is no shortage of laboratory materials and quarantine centers.
Ethiopia is also boosting its COVID-19 testing capacity at border points with neighboring countries.
According to figures from the Africa CDC, Ethiopia, South Africa and Morocco are among the top African countries that have conducted the highest numbers of COVID-19 tests.
Ethiopia has officially launched a nationwide month-long testing campaign, which the Ethiopian government said “will determine the next steps to undertake in the new year” starting on Sept. 11.
As the East African country strengthened the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese engagement has injected much-needed momentum in Ethiopia’s anti-pandemic efforts. Earlier this month, Chinese technology and social media giant ByteDance donated 100,000 COVID-19 testing kits in support of Ethiopia’s anti-COVID-19 pandemic efforts. Enditem