ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia's confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 60,784 after 1,136 new COVID-19 positive cases were confirmed on Tuesday, the country's Ministry of Health said.
The ministry said in a statement that 16 more patients succumbed to illnesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic during the last 24 hours period, which brought the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the East African country to 949.
According to the ministry, some 22,677 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had recovered, including 888 in the last 24-hour period.
The ministry also said a total of 37,156 COVID-19 patients are still undergoing medical treatment, including 307 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.
Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa is currently the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic accounting for more than 60 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 1,078,269 COVID-19 medical tests, including 14,815 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.
China has donated several rounds of COVID-19 medical supplies to Ethiopia to help the east African country fight the spread of the pandemic.
Chinese medical professionals are also currently undertaking experience-sharing programs with Ethiopian medical colleagues on ways to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the east African country. Enditem