Ethiopia’s COVID-19 cases near 18,000 mark

Ethiopia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 17,999 after 469 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 7,358 medical tests that were conducted within the last 24 hours, 469 of them tested positive for COVID-19, eventually bringing the total number of positive cases to 17,999.

Ten patients succumbed to illnesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the East African country to 284, according to the ministry.

The ministry further said 7,195 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had so far recovered, including 245 in the last 24 hours period.

According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, a total of 10,518 COVID-19 patients are still undergoing medical treatment, out of which 68 are in severe condition.

Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation with about 107 million people, confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 13.

The East African country had so far conducted some 429,172 COVID-19 medical tests, according to the ministry.

Amid the rapid spread of the COVID-19 cases across the 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 East African country earlier this month.

Deadly protests erupted in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, which is the hotbed of COVID-19 infection in Ethiopia, as well as some cities and towns in Ethiopia’s largest Oromia Regional State during the first week of July as protesters went violent following a public outrage attributed to the killing of a popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa, who was killed on June 29 in Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian government has previously said the unrest has left around 239 people killed with nearly 10,000 others arrested.

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 country were reported to be without face masks as well as without the recommended social distancing measures.

By official statistics, Addis Ababa recorded about three fourths of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ethiopia, including recording 295 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, out of a nationwide total of 469.