Coronavirus Madagascar

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This is a day-by-day summary of media reports and first-hand accounts by various individuals on location in Madagascar with information on the current coronavirus situation in the country. Additionally, the Malagasy government broadcasts daily situation reports by radio and television from where much information here is collected.









3 July 2020: Air Madagascar extents flight suspension for another month until 31st July 2020. Madagascar's national airline maintains the ban on regular flights entering or leaving the island, both for long-haul and regional flights. The affected flights concern connections between Antananarivo and Paris, Marseille, Guangzhou, Dzaoudzi and Moroni. As well as Toamasina - La Réunion, Sainte Marie - La Réunion and Taolagnaro (Fort Dauphin) - La Réunion - Tulear.

Covid Organics for sale at Pharmacie Centrale, Sambava

100 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 among 167 tests were reported yesterday. Only 56 locations of the infected people were communicated. 52 in Antananarivo, 1 in the Analanjirofo region, 1 in Ambatondrazaka (Alaotra Mangoro region), 1 in Ambositra (Amoron'i Mania region) and 1 in Ivongo Fianarantsoa (Haute Matsiatra region). The locations of the remaining 44 cases were not yet available, according to a spokesperson of Centre de Commandement Opérationnel (CCO). In addition, there are 2 new deaths and 34 healings.

Tuktuk driver in Antalaha

2 July 2020: As of yesterday, 2 new deaths and 89 new cases of COVID-19 in Madagascar. 88 of the infected persons are located in Antananarivo and 1 in Vohipeno, making the capital the epicenter of the virus over the last weeks. However, the rising number may also be a result of more tests being performed. In total, there are 2,303 confirmed cases with 1,275 active at the moment. The number of recovered patients is currently 1,006.

Professor Lalatiana Andriamanarivo, former Minister of Public Health, announced on his facebook page that he has been tested positive for the coronavirus. He explains his decision to testify with following words: "I am giving this testimony today because I contracted the virus in the performance of my duties (as a health worker). I did the COVID-19 test and the result is positive." He added, that currently many health workers on the front line are due to their close contact to the patients affected by COVID-19. He stresses, that it is an absolute need to protect oneself as much as possible.

1 July 2020: The coronavirus is spreading in the Analamanga region. Of the 76 new cases, 75 come from Antananarivo and one from Toamasina. There is a total of 2,214 detected coronavirus cases since the outbreak of the pandemic in Madagascar. 994 persons are healed and 1,200 are still on treatment.

Coronavirus statistic 2.jpg

30 June 2020: The curve of the severe form of coronavirus is rising. Alone yesterday, 24 new serious forms were announced, bringing the total number to 48. Most patients are in fact people classified as vulnerable due to their age and/or state of health. Unfortunately, 2 more people lost their battle against the virus, bringing the number to 20.

60 new COVID-19 cases were identified in Madagascar yesterday. 49 of them are located in Antananarivo and 11 in Moramanga. 22 healings have been announced, including 9 in Toamasina and 13 in Antananarivo. The total number of confirmed cases is 2,138. There are currently 1,152 active cases and 966 recoveries. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 21,444 tests were performed.

In his TV speech on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Ntsay Christian announced the strengthening of controls and sanctions against the stubborn with the help of the police.

More than a hundred people were arrested yesterday. 78 of them are taxi-be drivers and passengers who did not respect the rules, in particular the non-use of the folding seats and the wearing of a mask. During the morning, 43 vehicles were impounded in Antananarivo alone and 70 mainly pedestrians were arrested by the police for not wearing a mask. They all had to do several hours of community service.

Wearing a mask: in Madagascar, offenders subject to sweeping
(Video from africanews, 29th April 2020)

29 June 2020: With the death of 2 infected people yesterday, the number of coronavirus victims rose to 18 in Madagascar. There are no further details known about the location or possible former health issues of the deceased. Besides, 73 new cases have been reported, among them 66 are located in Antananarivo, 1 in the SAVA region (or more specifically in the Sambava district), 3 in the Vakinankaratra region (Antsirabe) and 3 in the Analanjirofo region. In total, the number of confirmed cases exceeded the 2,000 bar during the weekend. Indeed, there is a total of 2,078 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Madagascar. Currently, 1,117 people are still in the process of treatment while 944 people are already cured.

The Chambre de Commerce Chine-Afrique de Wenzhou (CCCAW) supports Madagascar in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. In particular, CCCAW donated 150,000 surgical masks and 1,000 protective suits. A representative of the CCCAW said, this is only the first delivery and more donations are already being prepared.

As a result of the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, Madagascar extended for the eighth time the state of emergency for a new period of fifteen days. At the moment, the epicenter of the pandemic is Antananarivo. The police will organise themselves to enforce the provisions intended to stem the spread of the virus in the capital, in particular on the wearing of compulsory masks, the maintenance of a curfew, the stopping of working hours at 5pm and public transport at 7pm.

The situation in the other districts like Toamasina 1 and 2, Fénérive-est and Moramanga has improved. Indeed, the state decided to ease the restrictions by extending working hours until 5pm and those of public transport until 7pm. Exam classes in those four districts can go back to school from next Thursday. The curfew, on the other hand, is still kept, national roads are still closed and public meetings are still prohibited.

The national airline Air Madagascar is preparing for take-off, although the date and conditions for this take-off are unknown. It is not an announcement for reopening the sky for national and international flights. It is rather a preparation accompanied by a customer survey in the form of an online questionnaire to find out about their clients' travel plans, ticket conditions and a possible ideal period for resuming international travel.

27 June 2020: 135 new coronavirus cases in two days, of which 93 people were tested positive on 26th June alone. Of the 93, 11 positive cases are located in Antananarivo, 2 cases in Toamasina, 1 case on Sainte-Marie and 1 case in Fenoarivo Atsinanana. The location of the remaining 78 cases has not been indicated. In addition, 83 healings were recorded including 44 on 25th June and 39 on 26th June.

Currently, 1,045 people are being treated in various hospitals, care sites or, recently, at home. Conversely, there has been an increase in the number of severe forms in recent days. In fact, on 24th June there were 8 severe cases. On 25th June, 18 new people developed a serious form of the disease, bringing their total number to 26. Meanwhile, other patients had emerged from this phase of complication, reducing the number of severe forms to 20 yesterday. 862 people affected by the coronavirus have now recovered. The number of deaths remains at 16. The summary table of the Covid-19 Operational Command Center (OCC) shows a total of 1,922 confirmed cases.

23 June 2020: A 65-year-old man has died of the coronavirus, bringing the number of deaths to 15. In addition, 44 new cases and 37 cures were reported yesterday. The geographic locations of these infected cases have not been indicated yet. A total of 18,741 COVID-19 tests have been carried out since the start of the epidemic in Madagascar.

20 June 2020: 40 new cases and 35 cures, all new patients are located in Antananarivo and Toamasina. Although the number of infections is increasing, the number of cures rises as well. Of the 35 cured persons, 23 come from the Atsinanana region and 12 from Antananarivo. Since the start of the epidemic, the CCO has recorded 1,443 confirmed cases of Covid-19, 498 cures and 13 deaths in Madagascar. Currently 933 patients are being treated, including 6 serious forms.

11 June 2020: A 63-year old woman suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure died of COVID-19 in Toamasina, bringing the number of deaths caused by the virus to 10. As of yesterday, 24 new cases were confirmed and 296 patients cured, while 857 patients are still in treatment.

10 June 2020: The number of people infected by the coronavirus is rising in Toamasina. Out of the 44 new cases reported in Madagascar, 40 are located in Toamasina and 4 in Antananarivo. Over the last weeks, the virus seems to spread at an average of about 40 new cases a day in Toamasina. According to the shared statistics table on national TV on June 7, Madagascar carried out 14,106 coronatests, identifiying 1,138 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 856 active forms, 274 healings and 9 deaths.

Coronavirus statistic 1.jpg

5 June 2020: 63 new confirmed coronavirus cases. 33 cases in Toamasina, 18 cases in Antananarivo, 5 cases in Moramanga, 2 cases in Manjakandriana, 1 case in Vontovorona, 1 case in Alakamisy Fenoarivo, 1 case in Ampanefy and 2 cases in the Analanjirofo region. Toamasina is still the hotspot of the virus, followed by Antananarivo.

In Toamasina, tensions get stronger between demonstrators and the police who are currently on mission at the east coast to watch over the implementation of measures to get COVID-19 under control. Groups of young people set up roadblocks and burnt tires in the port town. Police forces were attacked with stones and responded with tear gas and shots in the air. Criticism towards the government and president Rajoelina for the way of handling the crisis is growing louder.

3 June 2020: 11,954 people tested in total. 19 new cases of COVID-19, amongst them 5 in Toamasina, 5 in Fenoarivo Atsinanana, 2 in Antananarivo, 2 in Moramanga, 1 in Amparafaravola and 1 in Andilamena.

2 June 2020: 128 new coronavirus patients and 10 cured cases over the last May weekend. To limit the spread of the coronavirus, the state decided to isolate the strongly affected Atsinanana region on the east coast. Except for the transport of goods, no one has the right to enter or leave the region. Toamasina, the capital of the Antsinanana region, has the largest number of cases since the pandemic hit Madagascar. All so far recoreded deaths due to the coronavirus happened in Toamasina.

30 May 2020: The COVID-19 Operational Command Center reports 698 confirmed cases and 5 deaths. For the time being, Madagascar has not yet reached the peak of the pandemic. Antananarivo and Toamasina are considered the epicenter of the coronavirus, several other cities are now contaminated, too. Only the Antsiranana province is not affected.

After two months of confinement, now also the middle class faces cash flow problems as many companies have taken economic measures, in particular reducing staff or paying half the salary. Tension begins to emerge throughout the country. This week, protests began in particular in Toamasina and at certain universities.

27 May 2020: 586 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Madagascar, including 44 new ones announced yesterday. 437 patients are currently being treated, of which 6 (all in Toamasina) have a severe form of the disease. The healings counter stagnates at 147. In total, 9.340 tests were performed.

Facing the large number of confirmed Covid-19 contamination cases in Toamasina, the Malagasy Army has just adopted a new strategy to strengthen its commitments in the fight against this pandemic, as announced yesterday by General Jean Claude Randrianaivoarivelo. A unit to control the east coast, for example from Mananara to Farafangana, will be set up. The name of the unit is Zone Maritime Prioritaire d’Intervention -Est (ZMPI-Est) or Priority Maritime Zone of Intervention -East (ZMPI-East). A V13 boat is already operational in Sainte Marie to monitor the surroundings of this island up to Soanierana Ivongo. For the southeast coast, two zodiacs boats and a Tetras aircraft will be assigned.

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20 May 2020: Tsaradia resumes cargo flights. Air Madagascar's subsidiary for domestic flights announces its first all-cargo flight since the start of the health crisis that has caused a closure of certain airports in the country, including Ivato International Airport. The first cargo flight with a carrying capacity of 5.5 tonnes is scheduled for Sunday, 24th May, connecting Antananarivo and Sambava.

19 May 2020: As of yesterday, there were 18 new confirmed cases of the virus, including 17 in Toamasina and 1 in Mahajanga (the first case in the "City of Flowers"). The detected person concerns a staff of the Ministry of Justice from Antananarivo, being currently on a mission in Mahajanga. At the time of writing, it has been reported that the person is asymptomatic.

16 May 2020: 18 new confirmed cases detected in Toamasina, one patient is in serious condition and attached to oxygen. On average, a sick person can contaminate three others when hygiene measures are not followed, such as keeping social distance, wearing a mouth mask, desinfect hands and coughing or sneezing into the elbow.

13 May 2020: 20 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in total, of which are 2 in Antananarivo, 3 in Moramanga and 15 in Toamasina. A look at the statistics shows that the port town of Toamasina is the hotspot of coronavirus cases, which totals 93 cases out of all the cases confirmed so far in the country. Toamasina currently has the largest number of cases still under treatment, unlike Antananarivo where the number of cured patients has already exceeded that of the patients still being treated in hospitals.

7 May 2020: 35 new confirmed cases, the largest daily report since the pandemic hit Madagascar in the middle of March. Of the 35 positive cases of coronavirus, including 22 in Antananarivo and 13 in Toamasina, 22 are asymptomatic while the other 13 have one or more symptoms of Covid-19. It seems the daily number of confirmed cases is skyrocketing.

With 22 new cases, Antananarivo has the largest number in the last 24 hours. Among them, two women aged 34 and 70 respectively in Soalandy Ankadivoribe, in the Antananarivo Atsimondrano district. The other 20 positive cases are all located in the Antananarivo Renivohitra district, including nine children under the age of 12.

13 new cases in Toamasina make the numbers rise quickly there, where several districts are affected now.

In total, the country currently has 193 confirmed cases among the 3,968 tests carried out since March 19, 2020. 92 people are currently being treated, while 101 patients have already been cured of Covid-19. The result of the test concerning a recently deceased person, with a strong suspicion of Covid-19, is expected shortly.

30 April 2020: No new cases were confirmed over the last days. 8 new patients recovered from the virus, 90 healed patients in total. The number of patients still in treatment dropped to 38. None of them has a severe form of the disease. Since 19th March 2020, 3,107 tests have been carried out, most of them on passengers on international or regional flights.

27 April 2020: People not following the governmental rule of wearing a face mask outdoors in the cities of Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa and Toamasina will face communitiy service. In Antananarivo, 25 people were sentenced on the spot and forced to sweep the capital's dusty streets.

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25 April 2020: 1 new case and 1 cured.

24 April 2020: A 75 year old resident of Antananarivo region infected. 3 patients recovered today.

23 April 2020: ...

22 April 2020: ...

21 April 2020: No new cases today but 3 more recovered patients. 77 still in treatment.

20 April 2020: No new cases today but 2 healed persons. So far 41 patients have recovered with 80 still in treatment.

19 April 2020: The president announces a Covid-19 treatment by Malagasy researchers based on the locally produced plant Artemisia Annua. The new medicine is named Covid Organics and will be launched the next day. The medicine has been tested on some infected patients and has reportedly worked successfully. The department which discovered the medicine in relation COVID-19 is IMRA (Institut Malgache de Recherches Appliquées) which was founded by Albert Rakoto Ratsimamanga who in 1975 originally introduced Artemisia plants in Madagascar. The use of Artemisia is also a recognised by the World Health Organisation as an effective plant-based treatment against Malaria. There was one more infection case today. The president also summarised that out of the 121 cases to-date 57 were imported while 64 were contact cases within the country.

18 April 2020: 3 new infected cases today (120 in total). 2 healed persons (35 in total). 85 active cases. 2 of the infected persons were in Tana and 1 in Antsinanana.

17 April 2020: 6 more cases found, 117 infected in total. 3 in Antananarivo and 3 in Antsinanana (East). No healed persons, so 84 active cases. Air Madagascar announce suspension of flights to France until 11 May and to Mauritus until 4 May. The health minister announced that 2,152 PCS tests have been done in Madagascar. There are two types of coronavirus tests: The PCR test, where results are known after 6-15 hours and which is highly accurate, and a regular Corona 19 diagnostic test where results are known in 20 minutes but which is less accurate. Next week, 5,000 PCR diagnostic kits will arrive in Tana from South Korea along with various other equipment. The Malagasy government held a cabinet meeting in which it was decided to extend the national health emergency a further 15 days until 1 May 2020. Further announcements will be made in the coming weekend concerning current air and traffic restrictions.

16 April 2020: 1 new infected case today: a boy of 14 years in Toamasina and 4 more healed persons. So, 111 cases in total, 78 active and 33 healed.

15 April 2020: As of today, there have been 110 cases in total of which 29 are recovered. An average of 150 coronavirus tests are done every day in the country.

14 April 2020: 2 new confirmed cases were identified as a doctor and intern at Anosiala University Hospital. 2.7 tons of medical equipment received from Jack Ma Foundation.

13 April 2020: No new infected cases today and 1 recovered person. 85 left in treatment.

12 April 2020: 4 new cases found so 106 to-date. 8 persons recovered, bringing the currently active cases down to 86.

11 April 2020: No new cases today and one have 1 recovered from Antsiranana (Diego Suarez). 12 fully healed in total, so 90 left in treatment.

10 April 2020: 9 new infected persons today. 3 in Tana and 6 in Toamasina. 102 confirmed cases until today (noon). 91 in treatment (hospitalised) and 11 recovered already (as of 8th April)

9 April 2020: No further reports of infections or change to number of active cases today.

8 April 2020: 93 infected persons today (5 more including 1 from abroad). 11 recovered persons in total and 82 left in hospital for treatment. Former president Didier Ratsiraka donates 3,600,000 Ariary to thank all principal persons having helped and who are still helping in the crisis.

7 April 2020: There are 6 new contact cases today, 3 of them are localised in Toamasina. 88 persons have been infected in total. There are 5 fully recovered persons by today, so 7 healed persons in total to date. Many passenger begin to leave the capital for the countryside during the temporary lift on travel restrictions, causing chaos at the taxi-brousse station in Antananarivo (AFP/Yahoo News).

6 April 2020: There are 10 new cases of infection today. 3 of them are from outside the country and the rest were infected by contact. So, today there are 82 in total. 1 was found on Nosy Be island (Hell-Ville) and 2 in Tulear. Regional transport will reopen from tomorrow until Thursday, with very strict hygiene guidelines (limited number of passengers, completely disinfected cars, all passengers must wear a mouth guard).

5 April 2020: As of yesterday, the total number of confirmed cases was 72 (32 women, 40 men / 51 foreign arrivals, 21 domestic contact infections) and 0 deaths. 2 out of 72 confirmed patients are fully recovered. Most of the contact infections occurred in three regions: Analamanga (Tana), Haute Matsiatra (Fianarantsoa), and Antsinanana (Tamatave). All the measures under the existing restrictions on mobility continue to be valid until Saturday 18th April: 8pm-5am curfew, a pass permit is required when going outside to a shopping mall, school, church, leisure/exercise/entertainment/cultural facilities remain closed. All citizens are obliged to wear masks when going out and during working hours meetings of 50 or more people are prohibited. For workplaces with 50 or more permanent workers, the number of concurrent workers should be kept below 50. Workers must also wear masks and keep a distance of 1m or more. Regarding domestic flights, stopovers can only be made in areas where no infected person has yet occurred. Taxi-brousse operate only under the condition that hygiene measures are taken, such as wearing a mask for transit time for all passengers, listing passengers at the boarding point, providing a disinfecting gel in the vehicle, and disinfecting / washing passengers hands every stop.
Additional measures for Tana, Tamatave and Fianarantsoa: Prohibited to go outside unless absolutely necessary. Logistics transportation vehicles can pass freely except during curfew. Barriers were installed on the passageways between regions. It is mandatory to wear a mask when going out, and if you have to work, you must also wear a mask at the office.

4 April 2020: 1 new contact case was located in Toamasina today. In total, there were 71 infected persons identified in the 14 days of containment. The government continues to concentrate on helping people in difficulties and medical institutions, principally through the Fitia Association run by the first lady, Mialy Rajoelina. On Sunday, the president will inform the country about the result of the 14 days containment. According to rumors, the containment may continue for another 14 days. The awareness of the possible effective antiviral properties of ravintsara in fighting the coronavirus is resulting in a rising demand by pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Dr. Jean-Claude Ratsimivony, President and CEO of the JCR Group and expert in the field of alternative and traditional medicine, was interviewed by Midi Madagasikara on this subject.

3 April 2020: 6 new contact cases were found this morning (noon news) and 65 persons tested positive in total. Some of the 6 persons are in Toamasina. As the tests of people from outside of Madagascar were already completed, the authorities are now focusing on places and districts, like the Anatihazo Isotry of Antananarivo and Toamasina to find possible contact cases of the infected persons found this morning. 385 persons were in contact with infected persons in Isotry. The investigation continues to gather information of who all persons in contact with those infected were. Each person suspected of having been in contact with infected persons will be quarantined and tested soon. 237 tests were already completed and have negative results for the time being. Aquarelle factory (Aquarelle Group) is creating high-quality protection masks under the supervision of the president and government to be distributed at low cost. The government is also creating these masks for the protecting personnel working in prevention. 52 people in total who are infected come from abroad. From now on, the focus of the work is on finding possible contact cases. The evening news reports 70 infected persons in total (including 5 contact cases in Tana and 6 in Fianarantsoa). Fianarantsoa begins a partial confinement as of today. All declared positive corona cases are in treatment. No death from corona has occurred yet. The president will declare on Sunday the decision about the next steps. As it will be the end of the 14 days of confinement, it will be known if it will be necessary to continue or stop the confinement. The SAVA region declares no infection cases at a press conference in Sambava.

2 April 2020: The tests of people having arrived from outside Madagascar was completed today. Among the 3,162 persons from outside the country who ended their quarantine today, 12 previously infected and now fully recovered patients were included. The number of infection cases in the country since the first case was recorded is 59 with so far no fatalities. The price of basic necessities (rice, sugar...) will rise due to trade routes between the capital and the provinces being disrupted. The government is searching for solutions. A sailboat was intercepted off the coast of Nosy Lava (near Nosy Be) with 14 passengers (5 Malagasy and 9 foreigners). None were infected by the coronavirus. They left Nosy Be on 28th March and have now been ordered to return to the island as the borders are closed.

1 April 2020: The government, President Andry Rajoelina and his wife, some Chinese, Indian and Arabic representatives, individuals, company owners etc., are helping poor people, street vendors, newspapers sellers... They distributed food and money for taxi drivers, sex-workers, bus drivers and other people who are very poor and vulnerable and who can't work because of the coronavirus lockdown. A CCO (Centre de commandement opérationnel) is opened on Nosy Be island with Prime Minister Ntsay. They are starting the check and take care of possibly infected persons of COVID-19 on the island. Chloroquine (one of the medications that can heal COVID-19) is now in pharmacies but cannot be used by the general public as the medication is distributed only into hospitals. There are total 58 persons confirmed with coronavirus in the country as of today. The government is working hard to control the pandemic because there are already, within the 58, some contact cases which is very dangerous. The President repeats that it is very important to stay at home and not search for or visiting family members. A woman who is infected has escaped her confinement.

31 March 2020: There are now 50 infected cases in total. About 1,200 persons were tested today (persons suspected and placed in quarantine during 14 days: 7 of them were confirmed positives). In those 50 persons, one of them are in Diego-Suarez. The rest received a certificate of health and can leave quarantine now. The sick persons are already in treatment.

30 March 2020: A second contact case diagnosed. A driver-guide of a tourist visiting the country between 13th and 19th March. The tourist visited Antananarivo, Antsirabe and Andasibe. His itinerary was broadcast by the government and republished in L'Express (English). Today the number of cases increased by three and the total number of confirmed cases is 46. Two of the new cases are from Tamatave and one from Fianarantsoa. The President evaluated South Korea as having the best practice against coronavirus and mentioned they will be a role model. (BBC report). Test-kits arrive in Sambava.

29 March 2020: The number of confirmed cases are 43, which are all among the group of contained passengers in Tana on the last few incoming flights, although one was found in Fianarantsoa.

28 March 2020: The number of confirmed cases are 28 (Vaovao TV).

27 March 2020: 3 people received confirmation of infection and the total number of patients increased to 26, including two people from foreign countries and a first domestic infection due to contact with the infected persons. A social media user is wanted for spreading misinformation. Institut malgache des recherches appliquées (Madagascan Institute for Applied Research) finds a drug to prevent coronavirus according to a news report in Madagascar Tribune (English).

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26 March 2020: 25,000 coronavirus fast testing kits for which results can be obtained in minutes arrived from China yesterday night in the first wave of medical equipment from the Jack Ma Foundation. The 3,500 passengers on all flights arriving in the country since 14th March will receive priority testing before their obligatory containment period ends on the 4th April. A second cargo plane with more equipment is expected today. A woman returning from an affected country was located at a hotel in Vohemar yesterday and although the person does not have symptoms she is ordered to remain in her hotel room for 14 days and not make contact with anyone. Ten other people who returned from France and Mauritus are in the SAVA region and quarantined in their homes. So far hospitals in the region are not equipped to carry out coronavirus tests, so evaluations are based on the number of days of health. Meanwhile, public announcement are made from campaign cars driving around towns of the SAVA region recommending residents to stay at home as much as possible. Many farmers living in small surrounding villages choose to move to huts on their fields, not only to safeguard their crops as they often do throughout the vanilla growing season but also to avoid risk of coronavirus exposure, although the closest confirmed case to date is in Tamatave, which is over 500km overland and which cannot be reached by road or air at this time.

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25 March 2020: Health controls are set up along the roads between the major towns across the SAVA region and at shipping ports and at Sambava airport. A doctor, nurses and gendarmerie check travellers temperatures. No cases have been detected in the region. Low-cost markets within communities across the country will be established on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the poorest populations. Social distancing measures are to be respected at these markets.

24 March 2020: People in Sambava are more calm today than yesterday. French people having arrived on one of the last incoming passenger flights to Madagascar were located in Sambava, among them one man placed under supervision in the local hospital but without reported symptoms. Madagascar National Parks have been closed from 23rd March until 5th April. The Centre de commandement opérationnel Covid-19 (Covid-19 Operational Command Center) open at Ivato's Mining Business Center near the capital. (Email / 24-hour phone: +261 (0)34 05 503 60.)

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23 March 2020: 14 new cases of coronavirus bringing the total number to 17 confirmed cases. State of Health Emergency is declared for 15 days, to be reevaluated as the situation evolves. Affected regions are Antananarivo and Tamatave. Stop of public transport and confinement of the people in these provinces is announced along with a curfew between 8pm and 5am. Transport to and from affected areas limited to health professionals and other essential personnel including press organisations. Transport of goods are exempt. Health controls placed outside the capital and around major cities of the country. Tracking of all passengers having arrived in Madagascar since 14th March begins. 23 passengers who arrived on one of the last incoming flights from France remain unaccounted for and need to be checked since some passengers may carry the virus. Reports of a Malagasy air passenger having arrived in Antalaha, initially on a flight from France to Tana, are among infected passengers which raise fears across the SAVA region. The person is in self-isolation but have not showed symptoms. Offices, vanilla processing facilities and many shops in Sambava, Antalaha and Vohemar close. Banks, supermarkets and other essential services remain open with banks letting one customer in at the time.

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21 March 2020: Three cases of coronavirus infected passengers were detected arriving on separate flights on 17th, 18th and 19th March from France, with one of the infected passing through Mauritius. These passengers are in treatment and all passengers on the same flights in quarantine. Schools around the country have been ordered to suspend lessons for 14 days.

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20 March 2020: Madagascar closes its borders for incoming and outgoing passenger air travel. Hotels on Nosy Be close and many hotel workers lost their jobs, resulting in a wave of crime and security problems on the island which rely heavily on tourism. The situation is tense. The Tourism Minister announces at a meeting with hotel operators on Nosy Be that the travel ban will last for 90 days (previously reported in media 30 days).

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More information

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Madagascar: Humanitarian Snapshot - June 2020 - Madagascar - ReliefWeb
30-Jun-2020 07:00
Artemisia shows ‘promise’ against Covid-19 in lab tests, say researchers - RFI
24-Jun-2020 07:00
Stuck at Home Because of Covid, the French Discover France - The Wall Street Journal
09-Jul-2020 16:34
Learning from the best: Evaluating Africa’s COVID-19 responses - Brookings Institution
08-Jul-2020 20:20
There Is No Coronavirus Cure But Plenty of Unproven Remedies Keep Popping Up - VICE
12-Jun-2020 07:00
Science News Roundup: Madagascar reptile was forerunner to dinosaurs and Inflammation key to severe COVID in high-risk groups - Devdiscourse
07-Jul-2020 20:58
Daily briefing: Spain begins an epic economics experiment in universal basic income -
10-Jul-2020 16:54
SEED Madagascar needs your help on a mask-making mission for COVID-19 preparedness in Madagascar, can you help us? - Keep the Faith ®
23-Jun-2020 07:00
Madagascar denies claims President Rajoelina has Covid-19 - Africa Feeds
08-Jul-2020 14:47
From Louisa to Lesotho to Madagascar, Service Tops Comfort for Alumna - UVA Today
22-Jun-2020 07:00
COVID-19 lockdown precipitates deforestation across Asia and South America -
03-Jul-2020 10:03