BAMAKO, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Mali's health authorities on Monday reported 29 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 1,059 in the country.
According to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, 153 samples were tested in the previous 24 hours, among which 29 returned positive, including nine from western region of Kayes and 11 from Bamako, epicenter of the pandemic in Mali.
Seven patients have tested negative, and two deaths have been recorded in the previous 24 hours in the country, the ministry said, adding that 1,949 close contacts are being monitored on a daily basis.
Mali has has reported 1,059 confirmed cases, including 67 deaths and 604 recovery cases, since March 25.
To contain the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Boubou Cisse announced the extension of the closure of all schools from May 9 to June 2, and the mandatory wearing of masks in all public spaces across Mali.
The state of health emergency, declared on March 25, will remain in place, though the curfew has been lifted.
West Africa, now with almost 30,000 cases, has been the region most affected by COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, since Nigeria reported its first confirmed case on Feb. 27.