The presence of the novel coronavirus in Mali was first established when two individuals returning from Europe tested positive in early March. Shortly thereafter, on March 18th, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita suspended flights from affected countries, closed schools and banned large public gatherings. However, planned elections, which had already been postponed several times due to the country’s poor security situation, went ahead as planned throughout the months of March–April.
On July 5th, 2020 the Malian Ministry of Health and Social Affairs published press release N° 125 reporting its latest findings regarding the prevention, monitoring, and response actions to the Coronavirus disease. The press release reported 2,330 confirmed cases of COVID-19. In addition, the Ministry noted that from 700 tested samples, health services recorded 27 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, 1 death during the last 24 hours, and 11 patients in recovery.
This week’s report, which can be found on the national Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (Ministère de la Santé et des Affaires Sociales) website, reports 1,200 total samples taken throughout the country. Since the Ministry’s July 5th press release, the weekly report informs of 144 confirmed cases and 13 deaths. Since the beginning of the month to present day, Mali now reports 2,522 positive cases of COVID-19, 124 deaths, 1,931 recovered individuals, and the daily monitoring of 1,486 individuals exposed to the coronavirus. Though these numbers might not seem alarming when compared to countries with larger populations, when broken down to a daily measurement, Mali is identifying 4 new positive cases per day.
These numbers are particularly concerning when taking into account that only a few designated community health centers throughout the country have been equipped to screen and test for the virus, the lack of sufficient protective equipment and supplies such as masks and disinfectant within health facilities, the current political turmoil that has sparked civil unrest throughout the country, and a large portion of the population being unaware or misinformed regarding the transmission of and safety measures against COVID-19. Furthermore, despite the growing cases of COVID-19, the Malian government announced the resumption of commercial air travel effective July 25th, and the reopening of land borders to passenger traffic on July 31st.
It is important to stress that this pandemic is everyone's concern. As the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of MINUSMA, emphasized, “Without concerted efforts and unfailing solidarity, no country will succeed in eradicating the virus.” It is with this mindset and this spirit of fraternity that GAIA VF stands alongside the people of Mali to ensure that, with your support, together we can strengthen prevention awareness and provide the necessary medical supplies to our Malian family.
Donations to GAIA VF made through GlobalGiving will go directly to purchasing PPE and other essential supplies for Hope Center Clinic that will keep patients and staff as safe as possible. Thank you for your support to GAIA VF!