Karim Diallo
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Covid 19: Reflections from Mali

30 April 2020

Covid 19 has transformed our lives at the same time. This is a reflection from Mali and the government's response to combat the pandemic. 

Like other countries on the African continent, Mali is affected by the disease - Covid-19. It recorded its first two cases on 24 March 2020. Both had been in France before the second week of March 2020. Following his statement in Mali, the President of the Republic said: "the news saddens us, but it astonishes us more". This is why, despite the presence of coronavirus disease in Mali, legislative elections were scheduled for Sunday 29/3/2020; and afterwards markets and places of worship remained open.

But soon this changed. Compliance with barrier measures was imposed by the authorities to curb the spread of COVID 19 among the population. The measures implemented include the following:

  1. Hand washing kits with soap
  2. Masks or nose shields
  3. Sneezing in the crease of the elbow
  4. Wearing gloves
  5. The use of hydro-alcoholic solutions
  6. Avoid shaking hands,
  7. Application of the regulatory distance (at least 1 meter) between people
  8. Prohibition on gathering of more than 50 people

      Hand-washing devices installed at the front door of the ISH in Setuba.

The National Institute of Public Health (INSP) has been chosen to be the focal point in the monitoring of preventive measures and respond to the disease.


Makeshift but practical hand-washing device          Makeshift but practical hand-washing device.

For the follow-up of the activities on account of the pandemic, a National Coordination for the Fight against Covid 19 has been set up. It includes an epidemiological surveillance commission, a social mobilisation and contact follow-up commission, and a communication commission.

In addition, on Mali's borders strips, the sanitary cordons used during the Ebola virus epidemic have been revitalised under the control of the Minister of Health and Social Affairs.  A curfew was introduced from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and a state of security emergency was also declared.

The Minister of Health and Social Affairs has undertaken the task of updating national and international status on the disease; and he communicates daily the results of new cases of COVID 19 recorded by the health services in Mali.

The consequence of the Covid 19 disease is already perceptible on the population through the reduction of activities.

Containment is not yet officially declared in Mali despite the speed of its spread and contagion of the coronavirus and as the number of cases recorded in the health structures climbs.

During four (4) weeks, two hundred and twenty-four (224) patients were registered as positive, of which about twenty were cured with a few cases of death.


The following figures are based on records from 24 March - 20 April 2020

week Number of postive cases cured deaths
    1                             24        6        2
    2                             23      22        5
    3                             76      12        6
    4                            101        2         1
  Total                            224       42       14


Curve of Covid 19