Mali’s health authorities said the country recorded 78 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number to 1,194 in the country.

According to the Malian Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, 172 samples have been tested in the past 24 hours, among which 78 returned positive, including 13 from Bamako, epicenter of the pandemic in Mali, nice from central region of Mopti and 49 from northern region of Tombouctou.

A total of 20 patients have tested negative, and two more deaths have been recorded in the past 24 hours across the country, the ministry said, adding that 2,075 close contacts are being monitored on a daily basis.

So far, this West African country has reported 1,194 confirmed cases, including 72 deaths and 652 recovery cases, since March 25.

The state of health emergency declared on March 25 in Mali is maintained, while the curfew has been lifted.

In order to contain the spread of the virus, Malian Prime Minister Boubou Cisse announced the extension of the closure of all schools from May 9 to June 2, and the mandatory wearing of masks in all public spaces of the country.

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