ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia's confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 21,452 after 552 new COVID-19 positive cases were confirmed on Friday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health said.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Health in a statement issued on Friday revealed that from a total of 9,203 medical tests that were conducted within the last 24 hours, 552 of them tested positive for COVID-19, eventually bringing the total number of positive cases to 21,452.
The ministry also disclosed that 15 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 380.
Amid Ethiopia's rapid COVID-19 infection rate in recent weeks, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) had on Wednesday revealed that Ethiopia is one of the six African countries that have reported about 80 percent of Africa's total confirmed COVID-19 cases during the past week.
The East African country reported about four percent of Africa's total confirmed COVID-19 cases during the past week, according to the Africa CDC's latest weekly COVID-19 situation update.
The six African countries that have reported about 80 percent of the new COVID-19 cases since July 28 are South Africa with 59 percent, Morocco with 5 percent, as well as Algeria, Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia which each reported four percent of the total cases reported last week, respectively, according to the Africa CDC.
On Friday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent has exceeded 1 million mark, reaching 1,007,366 confirmed cases as the number of deaths related to COVID-19 also rose to 22,066, according to the Africa CDC.
According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, the number of recoveries is also increasing as some 9,415 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had so far recovered, including 388 in the last 24 hours period.
The ministry also noted that a total of 11,655 COVID-19 patients are still undergoing medical treatment, out of which 174 are in severe condition.
Amid the rapid spread of the virus, the East African country had on Sunday 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."
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 478,017 COVID-19 medical tests, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.