ADDIS ABABA, March 13 -- Ethiopia reported 1,361 new COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, taking the national count to 172,571, the country's Federal Ministry of Health said on Friday evening. Meanwhile, 27 new related fatalities were reported across the country, taking the nationwide death toll to 2,510, said the ministry. With 355 more patients having recovered from the virus, the country's total number of recoveries reached 141,195, it said. Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous nation, has the fifth largest number of COVID-19 cases on the continent, after South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, and has so far reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the east African region. The Ethiopian government has recently started a campaign to encourage face mask wearing in public as part of COVID-19 precautionary measures. The east African nation has so far conducted 2,214,180 COVID-19 tests, including 6,985 new tests during the last 24 hours, said the ministry. COVID-19 tests conducted in Ethiopia are among the highest in Africa, only next to South Africa and Morocco, according to recent figures from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.