Coronavirus Arrives in Burkina Faso

Security Personnel scan and offer hand sanitizer to worshippers attending a mosque in Burkina Faso Security Personnel scan and offer hand sanitizer to worshippers attending a mosque in Burkina Faso Finbarr O'Reilly for The New York Times

18 March 2020

Experts are concerned about the war-torn countries ability to handle the pandemic

As of yesterday, 17 March, Burkina Faso now has 20 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Schools and universities are closed, and gatherings of more than 50 are banned. Internationally, a considerable amount of countries have taken similar precautions and had more cases of coronavirus. However, many fear the escalation of the disease in Burkina Faso due to its current state of turmoil. Last year, violence with groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) led to deaths of 2,000 people and the displacement of 700,000 who had to flee their homes. Since 2019, this violence has caused healthcare to be cut or severely reduced for about 1.5 million people, and nongovernmental organizations believe that many cases of coronavirus will go undiagnosed. 

Jerry Jonas Mbasha, the cluster coordinator for the World Health Organization in Burkina Faso, said on the situation, "In a worst-case scenario, we could see fatality rates five to 10 times higher than the global average," pointing to displacement and the closing of health care facilities as worrisome in the fight against the pandemic. 

Mbasha has asked for global support for Africa in the spread of coronavirus, saying, “We need technical and financial partners to come in and protect Burkina Faso, as do other African countries which are facing the same situation.” 

 

To know more, please read:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/burkina-faso-covid-19-fight-complicated-war-displacement-200316053216529.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/world/africa/coronavirus-africa-burkina-faso.html?auth=login-email&login=email

 

Author: Noelle Musolino; Editor: Vito Quaglia

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