Covid-19: Guinea Bissau cases rise to 1,032

Tuesday May 19 2020

Coronavirus Kenya

Health personnel measure the temperature of a visitor at the entrance of the Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 18, 2020. Guinea Bissau’s Covid-19 cases have risen to 1,032. PHOTO | LUIS TATO | AFP 

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Guinea Bissau’s Covid-19 cases have risen to 1,032 after 42 people tested positive for the coronavirus disease in 24 hours, the health emergency operations centre confirmed Monday.

This is a high increase in the number of confirmed cases as the country had a total of only 54 positive cases by April 30.

The West African country has a population of less than two million people. The capital Bissau was the hardest hit.

Officials did not immediately reveal how many people have been tested so far, but said that 38 people have recovered and four have died as a result of the disease.

Ms Monica Negrete, the head of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) mission in the country, expressed concern over the situation.  

“It is important to involve more communities to fulfil preventive measures against the pandemic otherwise positive cases will increase,” she said, adding that the situation shows the virus is spreading rapidly within communities.


The Catholic Church said it will launch a door-to-door sensitisation campaign on Tuesday aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. It also said it would distribute 30,000 face masks countrywide.

The campaign, headed by the country’s former Health minister Magda Robalo, will also allow the government to use the Church’s hospitals to quarantine and treat Covid-19 patients.

Guinea Bissau is currently on lockdown until May 26 and has an 8pm to 6am curfew, with residents allowed to venture out into towns only between 7am and 2pm.

Initially, people were only allowed in the streets from 7am to midday.

Late last month, police arrested 200 people for moving around the capital’s streets during unauthorised hours.