ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia's confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 19,877 after 588 new COVID-19 positive cases were confirmed on Tuesday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health said.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Health in a statement issued on Tuesday revealed that from a total of 8,201 medical tests that were conducted within the last 24 hours, 588 of them tested positive for COVID-19, eventually bringing the total number of positive cases to 19,877.
The ministry also disclosed that some seven additional patients succumbed to illnesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the East African country to 343.
The ministry further said 8,240 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had so far recovered, including 309 in the last 24 hours period.
According to the ministry, a total of 11,292 COVID-19 patients are still undergoing medical treatment, out of which 187 are in severe condition.
On Sunday, the East African country officially launched a nationwide one-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 Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also said on Sunday that "increased testing is key to knowing the trend of COVID-19 nationally so as to enable effective decision-making on various fronts."
The Ethiopian premier also called upon "all stakeholders to participate and encourage various segments of our society to get tested, in line with Ministry of Health plans. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Keep your distance."
Amid the rapidly spreading COVID-19 infection rate in the Horn of Africa country, Ahmed also stressed that his government and people "took COVID-19 prevention measures early on and did well collectively."
"Starting early may have led some to prevention fatigue, yet we are now witnessing a rapid spread that warrants we confront complacency," he added.
Ethiopia, Africa's second-most populous nation with about 107 million people, confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 13, and has so far conducted some 444,226 COVID-19 medical tests, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spreads across the East African country, the Ethiopian government as well as healthcare experts and analysts mainly attribute the recent spike of COVID-19 pandemic to the unrest that affected the Horn of African country earlier this month.
By official statistics, the capital Addis Ababa recorded about three-fourths of all confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the East African country so far.
Ethiopian government health officials had been warning the protestors to take maximum anti-COVID-19 protections, such as face masks.
However, some protests in the capital and in almost all the unrest-hit parts of the East African country were reported to be without face masks as well as without the recommended social distancing measures. Enditem