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Africa News of Sunday, 29 March 2020


Mali confirms first coronavirus death

Mali's health ministry has announced the country's first death resulting from the deadly coronavirus on Saturday.

This is coming hours before the country conducts its parliamentary election threatened by both the pandemic and security concerns.

Health Minister Michel Sidibe said late Saturday that a patient who had tested positive had died earlier in the day.

“We have a death today,” he said, “because the virus was in his lungs.”

The kidnapping of the leader of the main opposition party earlier in the week has also cast a pall over the vote, with a security source saying he is “likely” in the hands of a jihadist group.

Though sub-Saharan Mali has had relatively few cases so far compared to other continents, the impoverished nation of some 19 million people — where large swathes of territory lie outside state control — is just the kind of state experts fear is particularly vulnerable.


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