The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, commended the country’s increasing COVID-19 testing capacity as the number of confirmed cases reached 59,648 as of Monday.

Ethiopia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 59,648 after 976 new cases were registered on Monday, the country’s Ministry of Health said.

The ministry said in a statement that 15 more patients succumbed to illnesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic during the last 24 hours, which brought the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the East African country to 933.

“A month ago we launched the campaign to increase COVID-19 testing throughout the country to inform measures that need to be taken in curbing the spread of the virus,”Ahmed said in a statement issued on Monday.

The East African country officially launched a nationwide month-long testing campaign in early August, which the Ethiopian government said “will determine the next steps to undertake in the new year,” which will start on Sept. 11.

“As we pass the 1 million mark, gratitude to all enabled this and caution to all fellow citizens to continue precautionary measures as we engage in upcoming New Year celebrations. 2013 expects the best out of us – let us meet the challenge by keeping healthy,” Ahmed said.

Many argue that the rapid increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ethiopia are due to the country’s growing number of tests in recent weeks.

Ethiopia has a far higher number of COVID-19 medical tests as compared to fellow other East African countries, including Kenya, the region’s second-most affected country.

The country has so far conducted 1,063,454 COVID-19 medical tests, including 19,449 tests during the last 24-hour period, according to the ministry.

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, Africa’s second-most populous nation with about 107 million people, has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in East Africa.

According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, some 21,789 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had recovered, including 482 in the last 24-hour period.

The ministry also said a total of 36,924 COVID-19 patients are still undergoing medical treatment, including 309 under severe health condition.

Ethiopia confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 13.

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.

As the country strengthened the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese engagement has injected much-needed momentum in Ethiopia’s anti-pandemic efforts.

Recently, Chinese technology and social media giant ByteDance donated 100,000 COVID-19 testing kits in support of Ethiopia’s anti-COVID-19 pandemic efforts.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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