Africa News

Madagascar to send troops to town where two died of coronavirus

Issued on: 25/05/2020 – 22:02Modified: 25/05/2020 – 22:02

Madagascar's government has announced it will dispatch troops and doctors to an eastern town after several bodies were found in the streets and where two people died from the novel coronavirus.

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Madagascar's cabinet held a special meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation in Toamasina, the country's second largest city.

The Indian Ocean island nation has registered 527 infections and two deaths, both in Toamasina.

Since Thursday, more than 120 new cases were confirmed, and several bodies were found in the city's streets though the cause of death was not clear.

"Doctors must carry out thorough examinations to see if these deaths are caused by another illness (…) or if they are really due to severe acute respiratory problems which is the critical form of COVID-19," Professor Hanta Marie Danielle Vololontiana, spokesperson for the government's virus taskforce, said in a national broadcast on Sunday.

The government will send 150 soldiers to reinforce Toamasina, maintain order and enforce measures against the coronavirus such as mask wearing and social distancing.

The cabinet also fired Toamasina's prefect without providing any explanation.

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