Ethiopia’s COVID-19 cases pass 22,000 mark amid mass testing campaign

Cleaning staff disinfect a metro carriage in Addis Ababa .Ethiopia announced its first COVID-19 death Sunday.PHOTO/AFP
Cleaning staff disinfect a metro carriage in Addis Ababa .PHOTO/AFP

Ethiopia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 22,253 after 801 new COVID-19 positive cases were confirmed on Saturday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health said.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Health in a statement issued on Saturday revealed that from a total of 10,919 medical tests that were conducted within the last 24 hours, 801 of them tested positive for COVID-19, eventually bringing the total number of positive cases to 22,453.

The ministry also disclosed that 10 patients succumbed to illnesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the East African country to 390.

According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, the number of recoveries was also increasing as some 9,707 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had so far recovered, including 292 in the last 24 hours period.

Ethiopia is intensifying its mass COVID-19 testing campaign amid rapid infection rate, the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen said on Saturday.

At a ceremony held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Mekonen said his government is mobilizing all available resources to ensure a month-long nationwide mass COVID-19 testing campaign passes off successfully.

“I call upon all Ethiopian people to undertake their share of responsibility to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The Ethiopian government for its part is committed to dramatically boosting the east African country’s COVID-19 testing capacity,” said Mekonen.

The East African country on August 2 officially launched a nationwide month-long testing campaign, which the Ethiopian government said will determine the next steps to undertake in the new year, which will start on September 11.

The Ethiopia Deputy Prime Minister also reiterated his government’s commitment to making the Ethiopian New Year which falls on September 11, a year where COVID-19 related public concerns are overcome and Ethiopia can focus its attention on its development endeavors.

The Ethiopian government is currently mobilizing resources to ensure there’s no shortage of laboratory materials and quarantine centers.

Ethiopia is also boosting its COVID-19 testing capacity at border points with neighboring countries.